The results are in – and now it’s time to share good news. More than two-thirds of likely Alameda County voters surveyed support an affordable housing bond for the November 2016 ballot. NPH and East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) have hosted briefings for our members, and the Board of Supervisors has reviewed the results.
The upshot: Voters understand the crisis in affordability and support the services delivered by the affordable housing community.
EMC Research, a respected national pollster, surveyed 502 likely voters in January in English, Spanish and Cantonese, yielding a margin of error of +4.4%. Voters were asked about a $500 million bond and estimated cost of $12 per year per $100,000 of assessed (not market) valuation. EMC has conducted polling for housing campaigns including the successful Proposition A in San Francisco in November 2015. NPH and Supervisor Wilma Chan funded this survey, and you can view slides here.
After reviewing these results, the Board appointed Supervisors Chan and Keith Carson to initiate community engagement activities and call for development of policy proposals for potential funding. Supervisor Nate Miley will lead outreach activities, and Supervisors Richard Valle and Scott Haggerty have voted to move the process forward and spoken in support of securing resources throughout the County. Nearly 100 residents, including many NPH and EBHO members, attended a March 17 meeting to share concerns and ideas.
NPH and EBHO have drafted a proposal and begun to develop outreach strategies across the housing community and our networks. We encourage members in Alameda County, who would be eligible to vote on the measure, to offer your ideas and enthusiasm on our member survey.
Much work remains to be done before voters go to the polls in November. County finance staff are analyzing bonding capacity. Housing and Community Development leaders are developing policy. We anticipate five District Town Hall meetings in May, and a series of six workshops to determine need and shape policy. The Board of Supervisors has targeted June 14 to vote on putting the proposal before voters.
EBHO will lead a series of resident engagement activities and provide materials in English, Spanish and Cantonese. NPH will provide technical assistance and strategic support.
Alameda County voters have considered housing bonds three times in recent memory, twice in 1988 and once in 1990 – achieving nearly 65% in a Presidential election, just a few thousand votes short of the two-thirds supermajority requirement.
Changes in voter targeting and communications, plus NPH’s investment in technology and EBHO’s partnerships with community organizations, position us strongly.
Read more about the Alameda County’s proposed housing bond for November 2016.
There is a great deal of work to do for November – starting today. To volunteer, share your ideas, enthusiasm and contact information on our survey.
Written by Sharon Cornu, NPH’s Political Director. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments!