Urban Habitat took positions on the following ballot measures.
Measure M, Vacancy tax: Support/Passed
Vacancy tax would tax property owners who keep residential units vacant for more than 6 months, $3000 for each non-exempt condos, duplex, single family dwelling, townhouse vacant in the first year, and $6000 for all other residential units. This is estimated to affect about 700 homes and raise $3.9-5.9 million in the first year.
Measure L, Affordable Housing Bond: Support/Did not pass
If approved by voters the measure would be a $650 million bond that includes $200 million for affordable housing, $300 million for streets, and $150 million for infrastructure projects like the waterfront, parks, pools, and public buildings.
Measure N, Article 34 authorization: Support/Passed
The proposed measure would authorize any public entity to develop, construct or acquire an additional 3,000 units of low income housing in Berkeley for low income people.
Measure V, Eviction provisions for tenants living in RVs and tiny homes: Support/Passed
Extends eviction provisions to cover tenants in RVs and tiny homes on wheels on private property, newly constructed rental units after the first 10 years they’re built, and families of school-age children or educators during the school years. Removes failure to extend (re-sign) a long-term lease as grounds for eviction, and allows tenants to rent on a periodic (month-to month) basis.
Measure U, Housing bond measure: Support/Passed
Measure would create a $850 million bond which includes $350 million for the construction and preservation of interim and permanent affordable housing, other funding for street improvements and paving, and the preservation or improvement of public resources such as libraries, parks, and recreation centers. Includes Article 34 authority for 5,000 units.
Measure Q, Article 34 Authorization: Support/Passed
This measure would allow Oakland to develop, construct or acquire an additional 13,000 low-rent residential units to meet the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), without seeking separate voter approval. This measure would pre-approve construction of low-income units.
Measure T, Progressive tax rate: Support/Passed
Measure would amend Oakland's business tax rates to create a progressive rate structure that would (1) impose the highest rates on the highest grossing businesses, (2) increase Oakland's annual tax revenue by an estimated $21 million and (3) generate approximately $124 million in total annual revenue for municipal services by imposing business tax rates of .05% to .55% of gross receipts, and other rates as stated in the measure.
Measure W, Public Financing for candidates running for office: Support/Passed
Measure amends the Oakland Municipal Code and City Charter to establish resident public financing for candidate election campaigns, increase transparency regarding independent spending in City elections, further restrict former city officials from acting as lobbyists, and provide additional resources to the Public Ethics Commission for implementation.
Measure S, Noncitizen right to vote on school board: Support/Passed
Measure to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to authorize voting by non-citizen, who are the parents, legal guardians, or legally recognized caregivers of a child, for the Office of Oakland School Board Director if they are otherwise eligible to vote under state and local law.
Contra Costa County
Measure P, Rent increase limit: Support/Passed
Caps rent increases for rent-controlled units to 60% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or 3%, whichever is lower. The City’s current rent control ordinance allows landlords to raise rents to match any increase in the CPI.
San Francisco County
City of San Francisco
Measure M, Vacancy Tax: Support/Passed
Vacancy taxes make it more expensive for corporate landlords and property speculators to increase their profits by creating an artificial shortage of housing units in the market. The goal of a vacancy tax is to ensure that all available housing units are accessible by incentivizing property owners to fill their rental housing instead of keeping it vacant until they can charge exorbitant rents or sell it for a large profit.
Prop E, Low-income housing production: Support/Did not pass
This measure would provide for accelerated review and approval of eligible 100% affordable housing projects. Requires sponsors of projects to pay prevailing wages during construction on 100% affordable housing projects.
Prop D, Increase income qualification for affordable housing: Oppose/Did not pass
Measure would increase the income qualifications for “affordable housing” it will cost more to rent or own. A one bedroom apartment costing $4000 a month would be considered “affordable housing.” Once a developer receives project approvals, they have no requirement to actually build affordable units.
Prop L, Sales Tax increase: Support/Passed
Extends the city’s 0.5% sales tax that helps fund transportation projects for 30 years. The city Transportation Authority would be allowed to issue up to $1.19 billion in bonds to be repaid with proceeds from the tax.
San Mateo County
Measure V, Exclusionary Zoning: Oppose/Did not pass
Measure would prohibit Menlo Park from re-designating or re-zoning certain properties zoned for single family detached homes to multifamily. If passed, this measure will block the development of multifamily, low-income housing in Menlo Park and set a precedent for other cities to follow.
East Palo Alto
Measure L, Business tax increase: Support/Passed
Funds for affordable housing, providing tenant rental support, and protecting local residents from displacement and homelessness. Increase the business tax to 2.5% of gross receipts on owners of residential rental units and prohibits the pass-through of the tax to tenants.
South San Francisco
Measure AA, Affordable housing production: Support/Passed
Would allow the City of South San Francisco to develop, construct, and or acquire affordable, rental housing for low-income persons, in an amount of up to 1% of the total number of existing housing units in the city annually for an 8 year period. If passed, this measure could be a pilot for doing social housing.
Measure DD, Free childcare: Support/Did not pass
This measure helps solve the affordable childcare shortage in South San Francisco (S.S.F) by creating a public preschool for all programs. The City of S.S.F. will cover the cost of preschool and early care, for every child aged 2.5 to 5 years old whose family lives or works in S.S.F.
Santa Clara County
Measure K, Funds for homeless services: Support/Passed
Measure will raise funds for homeless services, and general city services, by levying a tax on businesses in the City of Palo Alto at a monthly rate of 7.5 cents per square foot occupied by a business, up to $500,000 per business, with annual 2.5% adjustments for inflation and some exemptions, raising approximately $9.6 million annually for 35 years.
Santa Cruz County
Measure N, Vacancy tax: Support/Did not pass
Vacancy tax is a tax on homes that are vacant for most of the year. The tax would raise money for affordable housing projects. Because of the city’s housing shortage, the tax is intended to incentivize homeowners to occupy or rent their properties.
Measure L, Transit occupancy tax: Support/Passed
Measure will facilitate acquisition and construction of capital improvements for parks, community services facilities, and affordable housing.