America's Vote on Housing

November 9, 2018
Roll of 'I voted' stickers
Photo: Unsplash/Element5 Digital

On November 6, 2018, voters in cities and states across the country decided the fate of housing in their communities. But was it enough to address the nation's current housing crisis? 

Nationally, more than 30 state and local housing initiatives proposed laws that would expand tenant protections, offer homeless services and housing, and fund affordable housing projects. Twenty-three of the measures passed. In California, there were 60 housing-related initiatives. The Huffington Post reports that despite the "wave of new housing policies," they were "[relatively modest]." Leslye Corsiglia, executive director of housing advocacy organization SV@Home, offers CityLab an example of the scale of need versus aid, “$6 billion is not enough, but it is more than we’ve ever had.”

Another mixed result was California’s Proposition 10, which would have allowed cities to impose and expand rent control legislation. Supporters, including tenants’ rights groups and the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, argued that the measure would protect low-income renters from evictions. Opponents, including the business community and Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates, said it would discourage the construction of new apartments. The merits of both arguments will remain unexplored: The measure lost decisively, 38 percent to 62 percent.

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PB-Affordable Housing