Housing affordability is a key issue for six in 10 likely voters in this year’s presidential election, reveals a new poll from Make Room, the nationwide campaign giving voice to struggling renters, and Ipsos Public Affairs.
According to the poll, conducted in July, 58% of respondents also said they believe their local officials aren’t doing enough to improve housing affordability.
However, many cities and counties across the nation are working to address the affordability crisis and have placed measures on the Nov. 8 ballot. Here’s a roundup of local affordable housing measures that voters will be asked to consider next month:
- Alameda County, Calif.: A $580 million bond referendum, with $460 million for rental housing programs and $120 million for homeowner programs, such as downpayment-assistance loans.
- Asheville, N.C.: A $74 million bond referendum, which will include $25 million for affordable housing development.
- Baltimore: A proposal to amend the city charter to set up an affordable housing trust fund that would support and promote fair and affordable housing throughout the city for low- and extremely low-income households.
- Eagle County, Colo.: An affordable housing tax that would be a 0.3% sales tax—3 cents on every $10 purchase—to support workforce housing. The tax would generate about $5.4 million annually and would sunset in 20 years.
- Greensboro, N.C.: A $25 million housing bond that would provide $3 million for multifamily affordable housing development, $4 million for an east Greensboro housing development, $3 million for a code-compliance repair initiative, and $8 million for a workforce housing initiative, as well as funding for other initiatives.
- Los Angeles: Proposition H seeks to raise property taxes to pay for homeless housing and would raise $1.2 billion to provide housing for the city’s approximately 28,000 homeless residents. Initiative Ordinance J would impose new rules for developers seeking to build affordable housing projects larger than now allowed by planning rules.
- Oakland, Calif.: A $600 million bond measure to improve city streets, add more affordable housing, and upgrade some facilities—$100 million would be earmarked for affordable housing.
- Portland, Ore.: A $258.4 million tax measure, which Portland housing officials say could help build or preserve 1,300 affordable rental units.
- San Diego: A measure to increase capacity to construct an additional 38,680 affordable rental units. The ballot measure wouldn’t raise taxes.
- San Francisco: Among the city’s many ballot initiatives are several for affordable housing—Proposition C, loans to finance the acquisition and rehab of affordable housing; Proposition J, funds for homeless services and transportation if the sales tax increase is passed; Proposition P, competitive bidding for affordable housing on city-owned property; and Proposition U, affordable housing requirements for market-rate developments.
- San Mateo County, Calif.: A 20-year extension of Measure A, a half-cent sales tax that would raise an estimated $80 million annually. Originally approved in 2012 and set to expire in 2023, the measure would extend the revenue source through 2043. Officials have said some of the funds would support the county’s affordable housing needs.
- Santa Clara County, Calif.: $950 million in bonds for affordable housing, comprising $700 million for affordable housing, $100 million for affordable housing for low-income families, and $150 million for affordable housing and programs for working families.