1: A $4 Billion Bond for Housing
What it would do:
Give the state permission to borrow $4 billion to fund affordable housing construction and rental and home loan subsidies.
The money would be used to build and renovate rentals ($1.8 billion), to offer home loan assistance to vets ($1 billion), to construct additional housing in dense urban areas and near public transit ($450 million), to offer down payment assistance and other aid to low- and moderate-income homebuyers ($450 million) and to provide loans and grants for agricultural workforce housing development ($300 million).
What it would cost the government:
According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state’s nonpartisan budgetary scorekeeper, paying back the bond with interest will run the state government an extra $170 million annually for the next 35 years on average. This is roughly equivalent to about one-tenth of 1 percent of the state’s current general fund—or what the state spent on its juvenile justice program this year. The total cost of the bond is expected to be $5.9 billion.
Why it is on the ballot:
In the fall of 2017, state lawmakers went all in on housing, passing a cluster of bills aimed at subsidizing and streamlining new development. This bond, introduced by state Sen. Jim Beall from San Jose, was the product of one of those bills
Arguments in Favor:
The state faces an unprecedented housing crisis. All told, this will help more than 55,000 people meet their housing costs, while also adding some desperately needed affordable supply.
This bond will result in a one time boost in housing construction, a blip in supply that will do nothing to combat the long-term and persistent shortage that the state faces. For that minimal benefit, taxpayers will be saddled with billions more in debt.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (Democratic candidate for governor)
California Democratic Party
California Federation of Labor
California Chamber of Commerce
California League of Conservation Voters
American Legion, California
John Cox (Republican candidate for governor)
California Republican Party