CalMatters: Making borrowing easier: Amendment to state constitution could unlock billions of dollars for California housing

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The California constitution doesn’t make it easy for local governments to issue IOUs. Not only are most types of municipal and county borrowing plans required to go before the electorate, once on the ballot they also have to win support from at least two-thirds of the voters to pass.

Now, as state lawmakers scramble to put a lid on ever-increasing housing costs, a persistent homelessness crisis and growing public ire over both, a coalition of housing developers, unions, local governments and pro-housing groups want to lower that electoral bar for bonds and taxes that fund affordable housing and a wide array of public infrastructure projects. 

Making it easier for local governments to raise funds for affordable housing will also make it easier for those governments to compete for matching state and federal cash, said Abram Diaz, policy director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, which supports the amendment.

“If we’re gonna do these big statewide efforts, ensuring the locals also do their piece and have the tools they need to meet us halfway is really important,” he said.

Read more via CalMatters…