Newspapers statewide are recommending that voters pass California Chamber of Commerce-supported Propositions 1 and 2, which authorize funding for housing-related programs for veterans and homeless persons with mental health issues.
If approved by voters, Proposition 1, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018, would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects, and housing loans for veterans.
Proposition 2 is a revenue bond that spends only revenue generated from Proposition 63 (2004), which provides for a 1% tax on income above $1 million (an estimated $2.23 billion in the fiscal year 2018–2019). This measure would authorize the state to use the revenue generated from Proposition 63 on $2 billion in revenue bonds to address the homelessness crisis in California for those suffering from mental health issues. There would be no additional taxes and no additional spending from the General Fund as a result of this bond.
Yes on Proposition 1
The CalChamber Board supports Proposition 1 because the housing supply and demand imbalance in California is having significant negative impacts on the state economy and businesses.
The housing shortage is estimated to cost California approximately $140 billion a year—the equivalent of 6% of gross state product—and that does not include lost business opportunities or expansions forgone or relocations instituted by employers because they cannot recruit or keep workers in the state’s high-cost housing environment.
Proposition 1 is projected to create more than 100,000 jobs associated with or indirectly related to the construction of new housing and inject billions of dollars back into the state’s economy. As this is a state bond measure, the costs associated with Proposition 1 will be spread over the entire California tax-paying population, thereby minimizing impacts on any one individual or business.
Yes on Proposition 2
The CalChamber Board voted to support Proposition 2 because the measure improves the economy by helping the homeless reintegrate and reduces public health care costs.
Proposition 2 builds housing and keeps mental health services in reach for people. More than 134,000 Californians are homeless. It is estimated that as many as a third of the people living in these unsafe conditions are living with an untreated mental illness.
If passed by voters, Proposition 2 will result in the construction of 20,000 permanent supportive housing units. This allows coordination of mental health and substance use services, medical care, case managers, education and job training to help people get the treatment and housing stability they need.
Following are excerpts from newspaper editorials supporting Propositions 1 and 2.
Los Angeles Times: California desperately needs affordable housing. Prop 1 will help build it. Vote yes. “That’s why Proposition 1, a $4-billion bond measure on the November ballot to fund eight different programs subsidizing the construction or purchase of housing and supporting infrastructure, deserves a yes vote. It won’t end the housing crisis, but it’s an important part of the solution.” October 9, 2018
The Mercury News/East Bay Times: Why voters should OK $4 billion Prop 1. Housing measure. “California can’t hope to solve its housing crisis unless the state makes a serious investment in building more units. Proposition 1 does just that, authorizing a $4 billion bond for housing loans for veterans and affordable housing for low-income households. Voters should support it on Nov. 6.” October 6, 2018
The Modesto Bee: Props 1 and 2 could help our housing crisis. “Since our elected officials can’t find the gumption to make CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] rules more equitable, or insist that cities create more reasonable building-fee schedules, or encourage more infill, we should give Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 a shot.” October 6, 2018
The Press Democrat: Yes on Prop 1: Housing for California. “Proposition 1, a $4 billion bond act on the Nov. 6 ballot, includes $3 billion to build and renovate affordable housing, including farmworker housing, and to provide down-payment assistance for low- and moderate-income home buyers….Why is it necessary? California needs about 180,000 new housing units every year to keep up with population growth, but only about half of that has been built over the past decade.” October 3, 2018
Los Angeles Times: Mentally ill homeless people won’t get well on the sidewalks. They need housing. Yes on Prop 2. “There are nearly 53,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County this year, about 31,000 of whom are in the city of L.A. About 27% are considered seriously mentally ill. Proposition 2 will help them get housed and treated.” October 2, 2018
The Mercury News/East Bay Times: Prop 2 Provides Vital Housing Funds for Mentally Ill. “Many forms of mental illness are treatable, if not curable, if those suffering can be given secure housing and the treatment and services they deserve. Proposition 2 is designed to take a serious run at solving that problem. The measure would allow the Legislature to issue $2 billion of bonds to fund housing for homeless people with mental health problems.” September 22, 2018
San Francisco Chronicle: Chronicle recommends Yes on California Prop. 2. “Prop. 2 represents a modest slice of the revenue from the Mental Health Services Act, and it is entirely consistent with the vision California voters embraced 14 years ago. Vote yes on Prop. 2.” September 21, 2018
San Francisco Chronicle: Yes on California Prop. 1. “It’s going to take more than dollars to solve California’s housing crisis. Regulations need to be streamlined, policies need to be realigned to steer development into areas that can accommodate higher density, and more communities need to be open to accepting growth… It’s a statewide problem that demands statewide approaches — including public investment. Vote yes on Prop. 1.” September 17, 2018
The Sacramento Bee/The Fresno Bee: The easiest way to get more housing? Vote yes on Propositions 1 and 2. “For all of the disagreements over how best to solve the affordable housing crisis, most Californians can agree that the problem ultimately stems from a shortage of housing… That’s why voters should jump at the chance to approve Propositions 1 and 2 on the Nov. 6 ballot. Both statewide measures come with a promise of more housing for those Californians who need it most.” September 17, 2018
Santa Cruz Sentinel: Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 2, housing for the mentally ill homeless. “A housing-first approach to address homelessness has proven effective—but it needs available housing. Proposition 2, properly administered, would help provide it for mentally ill homeless. We recommend a ‘yes’ vote.” September 11, 2018