The midterm elections included a wide range of contests up and down the ballot, with races determining 36 governors, over 200 mayors, 6,279 legislators in 46 states, and more than 130 statewide ballot measures, with dozens more local measures.
Voters showed strong support for affordable housing, weighing in on 133 state-level, and dozens of local-level, ballot measures. Voters’ willingness to fund affordable housing underscores the rise of housing affordability as a top issue around the country. With the steep rise in costs this past year, and housing as the primary contributor to inflation, voters are demanding a response to the shortage of quality, affordable homes in all regions. Enterprise looks forward to continuing our work with state and local leaders to implement strategies that help increase affordable housing and create thriving communities.
Some of the most notable outcomes for housing include:
- (Pass) Colorado Proposition 123: This proposal requires the state to set aside 0.1% of annual income tax revenue for housing-related activities, including workforce housing, eviction defense and funding for local governments. The measure creates a permanent funding source and establishes an affordable housing fund that local governments must opt-in to. It is expected to generate about $275-300 million per year, but the measure would also reduce tax refunds guaranteed to residents under a constitutional amendment called the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR.
- (Pass) Los Angeles, Calif., Measure ULA: This measure would enact a 4% tax on the sale or transfer of properties in Los Angeles valued at more than $5 million, and a 5.5% tax on the sale or transfer of properties valued at more than $10 million. The proceeds would establish the House L.A. Fund within the city Treasury to collect additional tax revenue and allocate revenue to projects that address housing availability at certain income thresholds and prevent homelessness. The measure would also create a citizens’ oversight committee tasked with developing funding guidelines, assessing project needs, and auditing expenditures.
- (Fail) Berkeley, Calif., Measure L: The Affordable, Safe and Sustainable Berkeley Bond Act is a $650 million bond measure to fund the creation of affordable housing; repair streets, sidewalks, and underground utilities; and enhance buildings, infrastructure, and safety. Of the total, $200 million would be dedicated to the creation or preservation of affordable housing and the remaining $450 million would support infrastructure projects.
- (Pass) Berkeley, Calif., Measure M: This vacancy tax will compel property owners to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 if their homes or apartments sit vacant for at least six months during the first year of the tax. The amount doubles in year two of the tax.
- (Pass) Oakland, Calif., Measure U: The Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Bond is an $850 million bond measure, of which $350 million would be set aside for affordable housing creation and preservation and services for people experiencing homelessness.
- (Pass) San Francisco, Calif., Proposition M: The Empty Homes Tax is a vacancy tax on owners of units that have remained vacant for over 182 days in a given year.
- (Pass) Columbus, Ohio: Voters approved a $200 million bond package that would support a range of housing activities, including the creation of affordable housing and supports for people experiencing homelessness.
- (Pass) Palm Beach, Fla.: This $200 million bond measure will create and preserve homes for households earning up to 140% AMI.
- (Pass) Kansas City, Mo.: Voters approved a $50 million bond measure that will support the creation of affordable housing for low-income residents. It’s the largest investment the city has ever made in affordable housing with 71% of voters approving the measure – far exceeding the required 57% approval threshold. The funding is estimated to generate 2,000 new units of affordable housing.
- (Pass) Austin, Texas: 71% of voters approved a $350 million bond measure to create more affordable rental housing and low-income homeownership opportunities.
- (Pass) Denver, Colo.: Referred Question 2K passed, enabling the city to continue to spend existing funds from a previous voter-approved tax increase on homelessness resolution, and to continue to collect and spend funds for the same purposes.
- (Pass) Colorado: Local Measures: Eight counties took advantage of a new state law that went into effect this year enabling them to direct lodging taxes to housing, childcare, and related issues. Voters approved 7 of 8 ballot measures, with many intending to direct revenue to housing.
- (Fail) Denver, Colo., Initiated Ordinance 305: This ballot measure would have imposed an excise tax on rental property owners to help fund legal counsel for residents facing eviction.
- (Fail) Santa Cruz, Calif., Measure N: This ballot measure would have imposed a tax on vacant rental units.
- (Fail) Costa Mesa, Calif., Measure K: This measure would promote more affordable housing in certain corridors by making changes to zoning requirements and removing regulatory barriers.
- (Pass) Buncombe County, N.C.: Voters in the county that includes Asheville, NC approved a $40 million bond measure that will support the construction of affordable housing.
- (Pass) Charlotte, N.C.: 74% of voters approved a $226 million bond measure, of which $50 million will support the creation of more affordable housing.
- (Tentatively passed) Pasadena, Calif. Measure H: this measure would enact just-cause requirements for all evictions and limit rent increases to 75% of local CPI.
- (Pass) Santa Monica, Calif., Measure EM: This measure provides the Rent Control Board with authority to modify rent increases during a declared state of emergency.
- (Pass) Santa Monica, Calif., Measure RC: This measure decreases the cap on rent increase from 6% to 3% on certain rent-controlled units.
- (Fail) Portland, Maine Questions A & B: These measures would have restricted, and reduced the number of, short-term rentals operating in the city.
- (Pass) Portland, Maine Question C: This measure will further limit rent increases to 70% of CPI and expand renter tenant protections for renters, including a minimum 90-day notice of lease termination.
- (Pass) Orange County, Fla.: This rent stabilization measure limits rent increases to CPI for one year, although the measure is expected to face legal battles in the coming months.
- (Pass) Suffolk County, N.Y.: In New York, four Long Island towns—East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton, and Southold—approved a 0.5% tax on high-priced homes to provide a revenue stream for the Community Housing Fund, which will fund a variety of activities to promote affordable housing.
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