November 5, 2018

Local Housing Ballot Measures that Could Boost Affordable Housing Resources

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  • Tomorrow, eligible voters will have the opportunity to approve housing ballot measures in various jurisdictions across the country. Californians will vote on two ballot measures that would create affordable housing opportunities across the state: Proposition 1, which would authorize a $4 billion bond issuance for affordable housing, as well as Proposition 2, which would authorize an additional $2 billion that would be repaid using existing funds generated from the Mental Health Services Act. San Francisco’s voters will get the chance to approve Proposition C, a ballot measure that would impose a tax on certain businesses to raise funds for supportive housing and homelessness services. Voters in Portland, Oregon, will vote on measures 102 and 26-199, which would change the state constitution to allow local governments to use bond money in partnerships with private business and nonprofits to build affordable housing, as well as generate more than $650 million to build affordable housing in the Portland metro area, which would be paid for by an increase in property taxes. Austin’s voters will also have the opportunity to approve a $925 million bond package, which includes $250 million for affordable housing initiatives. Learn more about the key 2018 housing ballot measures through the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s ballot tracker
  • In an op-ed in CityLab, Sam Adams, the former mayor of Portland, Oregon, urges voters to approve the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative -- also known as Portland Ballot Measure 26, which would generate $30 million to help fund clean energy projects and job training opportunities. This ballot measure would impose a 1 percent surcharge on about 130 retail companies, all of which have more than $1 billion in national revenue and $500,000 in local revenue. Adams notes that in the city of Portland, the incorporation of equity considerations in climate action plans has been gaining more attention and growing over the past decade, pointing out that the city released its Climate Action through Equity plan in 2016. (CityLab, November 2)
  • Austin’s Anti-Displacement Task Force has released draft recommendations for boosting the limited sources of financing available for anti-displacement efforts as well as preventing or rectifying displacement of homeowners, renters and cultural institutions and artists. These recommendations call for pursuing legislative change that would remove Texas’ prohibition on inclusionary zoning, enforcing fair housing laws, and considering several options for boosting local housing resources like tax increment financing and developer fees tied to density bonuses. The recommendations are open for comment until November 4. (CityLab, November 2) 
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released a Credit Risk Transfer Progress report, which highlights how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Government Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs) transferred a substantial portion of credit risk to the private sector through the second quarter of 2018. The report points out that between 2013 and the end of June 2018, the GSEs transferred a portion of credit risk on approximately $2.5 trillion of unpaid principal balance with a combined Risk in Force, the total dollar amount of claims the insurer expects to receive during the year, of about $81 billion. The GSEs also transferred $1.1 trillion of unpaid principal balance credit risk to primary mortgage insurers during the same period. (FHFA, November 1) 

Upcoming Events

  • On Thursday, November 15, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss the newly released Opportunity360 – Listen: The Community Engagement Toolkit, an online tool that brings together more than 40 resources to enable effective community engagement. This webinar will feature a panel of experts and practitioners from across the country who specialize in community development. Register here for the webinar
  • On Tuesday, November 27, Enterprise New York, in partnership with the Fair Housing Justice Center and with support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, is hosting the Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Summit. This full-day convening will feature a keynote address by Isabel Wilkerson, the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, as well as a discussion on the Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable’s policy platform. The summit will be held at the CUNY Graduate Center. Register here for the summit.     

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