Housing is Top Topic and Top of Ticket this Tuesday

By: Housing California Executive Director Lisa Hershey, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California Executive Director Amie Fishman (NPH), and Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing Executive Director Alan Greenlee

Election Day is Tuesday, which means our TVs, radios, social media feeds, and newspapers are inundated with political ads. Have you noticed the theme? Regardless of whether they’re ads for candidates or ballot measures, local or statewide, Republican or Democrat, virtually every ad mentions our state’s affordable housing crisis.

That’s because our affordable housing crisis is an issue that touches each and every one of us. One in three California renters struggles to pay their rent. More families are now living in their cars or in overcrowded shelters, having a devastating impact on children’s and parents’ lives. This is our current workforce and future California, and the repercussions are felt by all of us.

And this election cycle, affordable housing is on the ballot.

We are affordable housing leaders spanning the state of California. As non-partisan non-profit organizations representing residents, advocates, affordable housing developers, and service providers, we’ve worked for decades to promote a more equitable California and build towards a future where everyone has access to a safe, stable, affordable home.

While we won’t tell you who you should vote for, we do have recommendations on what you should vote for to help us collectively realize this future. There are a number of statewide propositions that deserve your attention this November.

Prop 1: Vote YES

Prop 1, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Act, will create affordable housing for our veterans, families, people experiencing homelessness, and individuals with disabilities. The measure is a $4 billion general obligation bond that will bring investment, jobs, and affordable homes into our communities. Prop 1 is the result of the bipartisan passage of Senate Bill 3 (Beall), which our coalition helped pass, and has been endorsed by advocates, business leaders, labor, and veterans.

Prop 2: Vote YES

Prop 2, the No Place Like Home Act, will create supportive housing tied to mental health services for people living with a serious mental illness who are experiencing, or are at risk of, chronic homelessness. Our affordable housing movement helped create and advocate for the No Place Like Home Program in 2016, and now we need it to cross the finish line to invest $2 billion in supportive homes.

Prop 5: Vote NO

Prop 5 will take away $1 billion a year from our schools and communities. Teachers, firefighters, health care workers, senior groups, housing advocates, community groups, and local governments are working to stop this harmful initiative because it only benefits wealthy property owners and realtors, and does nothing to help people in need of affordable housing.

Prop 10: Vote YES

Prop 10 will allow our communities to provide more housing stability, protect families, and make California more affordable for us all. This statewide ballot measure will repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, allowing local jurisdictions more flexibility with rent control measures.

Together, these four measures will make a difference for our seniors, veterans, working families, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable community members. Props 1, 2, and 10 can drive progress for us; Prop 5 would take us backwards.

There should be no question as to why housing has been part of the electoral rhetoric this cycle: The lack of affordable housing and protections for our communities, especially communities of color and underserved communities, are the result of decades of discriminatory neglect by policies and systems and severe underfunding. The people of California are ready for fairer and just policies that lead to more housing access for all, and through legislative action and community power, we have solutions on the ballot to do so.

The core question left is what are we going to do about it? Join us this Tuesday, November 6 by voting YES to Prop 1, YES to Prop 2, NO to Prop 5, and YES to Prop 10.

By: Housing California Executive Director Lisa Hershey, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California Executive Director Amie Fishman (NPH), and Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing Executive Director Alan Greenlee