SFF Supports Reforming Affordable Housing Bonds

SFF Supports Reforming Affordable Housing Bonds

We are proud to support ACA 1. This legislation would propose a California constitutional amendment to allow voters to decide to lower the necessary vote threshold from a two-thirds supermajority to 55 percent to approve local affordable housing and public infrastructure bonds.

The San Francisco Foundation is all-in on housing. We cannot make meaningful progress toward equity and inclusive prosperity without addressing the region’s affordable housing crisis.

Lowering the threshold to 55% instead of a supermajority is a tremendous opportunity to help meet California’s housing needs. ACA 1 has the potential to unlock billions of dollars to give local communities the tools they need to fulfill their obligations and meet their unique housing needs. It can help millions of Californians with the goal of affording housing and first-time homeownership, including our teachers and first responders like our firefighters, police, paramedics, and nurses.

Please call your representative and urge them to support ACA 1.

Our letter is excerpted below:

 California needs to create approximately 2.65 million new homes by 2023, of which 1.2 million must be affordable to lower-income households. The state’s housing shortage is disproportionately impacting Black Californians, who account for about 13% of the state’s population but almost 40% of the state’s homeless population. The current 2/3 vote threshold to approve housing bonds has proven to be a significant barrier to tackle the housing shortage and support affordable housing development. Changing the vote threshold to 55% has the potential to unlock billions of dollars for affordable housing.

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, between 2018 and 2020, over $1.6 billion of proposed affordable housing bonds received over 50 percent but less than two-thirds voter approval and therefore were not approved. It is estimated that if the voter threshold were lowered to a simple majority, communities across California could raise an estimated $25.4 billion in affordable housing bonds.

Read the full letter.

Learn more:

  • Read more about SFF’s all-in on housing work