In keeping with One San Mateo’s focus on advancing just, equitable, and across-the-board housing solutions, One San Mateo recommends the following choices on this election’s housing-related propositions.
Yes on Propositions 1
According to statistics from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are 40,056 homeless veterans nationally, and 29% (or 11,472) of them are here in California. This a problem crying out for a robust solution. Proposition 1 would allocate $4 billion in general obligation bonds to be spent strictly on affordable housing programs benefiting veterans. It would represent a major investment toward tackling this intolerable situation.
Yes on Proposition 2
Proposition 2 would resolve litigation regarding 2004’s “Millionaire Tax” and thereby make available $2 billion already set aside for the purpose of helping people with mental illness maintain stable housing while receiving quality care. It is known that people with mental illnesses who can receive care in familiar housing environments fare better than those who cannot. Likewise, it is also known that people with mental illnesses are at significantly greater risk of becoming homeless. Together with Proposition 1, Proposition 2 is a step in the direction of addressing California’s soaring homelessness crisis.
No on Proposition 5
Proposition 5 would allow people over the age of 55 or who are severely disabled to transfer their current property tax rates any number of times and regardless of the location or value of the homes they are buying. This will be bad for housing in two respects. First, it will allow wealthy individuals ages 55 or older to engage in speculative home buying, which, in turn, will spur displacement and drive up the cost of housing. Second, it will blow a hole in local municipalities’ budgets, likely resulting in cuts to affordable housing funds.
Yes on Proposition 10
One San Mateo is an organization that grew out of the fight for tenants’ protections. It is our firm conviction that the housing crisis can never fully be addressed without rent stabilization and protection against no-fault evictions. Proposition 10 is about fairness and choice. By repealing California’s 1995 legislature-enacted Costa-Hawkins Act, cities will finally have the freedom to craft their own local rental regulations, and they will be able to do so in a fairer manner by being able to subject small and large, new and old landlords to the same laws. Repealing Costa-Hawkins, though, is not just about allowing cities to shape reasonable renters’ protections. More generally, it is about giving cities the freedom to innovate new solutions to the housing crisis, as Costa-Hawkins has also been an impediment to non-rent stabilization policies, such as the widely supported practice of below-market-rate mandates on new developments. Therefore, it is long past time we undo California’s harmful Costa-Hawkins Act.