California voters OK $6 billion in bonds to fund housing
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California voters authorized $6 billion in bond funding for affordable housing as the state faces a severe shortage of homes.
Proposition 1 passed Wednesday with 54 percent support. The measure authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds to house low-income people and veterans. The money will be repaid over time with interest.
It joins Proposition 2 that passed by a wider margin and authorizes $2 billion in bond funding to house mentally ill homeless people.
Lawmakers approved those bonds in 2016, planning to repay them with funds from a tax on millionaires that voters approved in 2004. The governor and lawmakers decided to take the issue to voters when the funds became tied up in court by plaintiffs who said the tax was to fund mental health services, not housing.
The measures were designed to ease California’s housing shortage and high rates of homelessness. A third measure aimed at the housing crisis by allowing more rent control, Proposition 10, failed by a wide margin.
Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown cheered the passage of the bond measures, although he noted the state has a lot of work to do on housing and mental health issues.
“There’s a lot there for the next governor and the next Legislature to work on, and the local mayors,” he said at a Wednesday news conference. “We got some more money, but that’s by no means the end of the story.”
AP writer Don Thompson contributed from Sacramento.