The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to place a $580-million Affordable Housing bond on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot to prove funds for in investment in homes for first-time home buyers and low-income renters.
A 2/3rd majority vote by those voting on the ballot will be required to approve the measure, which would result in an assessment of $12 per every $100,000 of valuation for Alameda County property owners.
"The Affordable Housing Bond will provide $580 million in investment in affordable homes for low-income renters, down payment assistance for first time home buyers and an innovation fund to seek new solutions," said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, sponsor of the measure.
She said the language and priorities of the bond measure have been developed through a multi-step stakeholder process. It will create and protect affordable housing options for people who need it most, including seniors and the disabled, veterans, low-income families, and the homeless.
The board heard the following statistics before voting unanimously to support the bond measure:
• Rents in Alameda County have risen 34% since 2011.
• Median home prices have nearly doubled since 2010.
• A two-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $2,200.
• On an annual basis, there are over 8,000 homeless people in Alameda County. It is increasingly difficult to find an affordable place to live in our county.
• Seniors, veterans and disabled individuals are hardest hit. So, too, are working families and youths exiting foster care.
• Even working families are impacted, with many families spending half of their income on housing. Many funding options from state and federal government are no longer available.
• Estimates show the U.S. is 60,000 homes behind the need for low income families in deep poverty.
Representatives of the East Bay Housing organization praised the supervisors for voting to place the $580 million housing bond on the November ballot.
"This measure is a much needed investment in affordable homes for low-income renters, home ownership and an Innovation Fund to seek new solutions to our housing crisis," EBHO said in a statement.
In addition, the county board's action will require that 20% of the rental housing units be reserved for extremely low-income households at or below 20% Area Median Income, provide home ownership opportunities and support to help keep residents in their homes.
"The passage of this bond measure in November will be a critical piece in providing needed affordable housing for vulnerable communities who really need our help, like low income families, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities," the EBHO statement added.
Supervisor Chan represents District 3, which includes the cities of Alameda, San Leandro, parts of Oakland including Chinatown, Jack London, Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods, and the unincorporated community of San Lorenzo.