I stand in support of ACA 1, which will lower the necessary voter threshold from a two-thirds supermajority to 55% to approve local general obligation (G.O.) bonds and special taxes for affordable housing, supportive housing, and public infrastructure projects. This measure gives local governments and local voters a realistic financing option to fund an increase in the supply of local affordable housing, and to address public infrastructure challenges.
ACA 1 is targeted to the urgent needs of local communities. The California Constitution currently requires a two-thirds vote at the local level for both G.O. bonds and special taxes, regardless of what the city, county, or special district proposes to use the funds for. However, local school districts can seek approval for construction bonds with only a 55% vote. ACA 1 will level the playing field and create parity with school districts so that cities, counties, and special districts all have a viable financing tool to help address important community needs.
According to the Department of Housing & Community Development, in the last 10 years California has built an average of 80,000 homes per year when the need is approximately 180,000 per year to keep up with growth. The status of infrastructure in our state is similarly challenged, with storm water management, transit development, park facilities, streets and roads, and broadband expansion all underfunded with limited options.
We need to have a greater role in proposing and funding the needs of our community that often do not rise to the top of regional, state, or federal funding lists. ACA 1 puts power into the hands Californians who want to have an impact on their communities, because we know best what our families and neighbors need.