While the federal House and Senate races were the big story of Tuesday’s midterm elections, voters across the country considered critical state and local ballot issues as well, including eight states that dealt with the construction of affordable housing or expanding protections for renters. According to Pew’s Stateline midterm election coverage, under most of the measures, cities would rely on bonds and targeted tax increases to fund affordable housing.
Successful measures included:
California’s Propositions 1 and 2: Proposition 1 allows the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund affordable housing for low-income individuals, farmworkers, and veterans; and Proposition 2 authorizes $2 billion in previously appropriated funding to go toward housing for the chronically homeless, people with disabilities and the mentally ill.
Oregon Measure 102: This amends the state Constitution to give local governments more flexibility to use bond dollars for affordable housing developments.
Portland Ballot Measure 26-199: This $652.8 million bond measure to build more affordable housing was proposed by Metro leaders. Half of the funds will go toward construction of new homes and the other half is dedicated to rehabilitating existing low-cost housing to ensure it stays in use, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Voters also approved housing measures in Austin, Texas; Bellingham, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina; Oakland and San Francisco, California.