News Category

NLIHC Releases New Report on Housing and Homelessness Ballot Measures in the November 2022 Elections

Report summarizes nearly 100 ballot measures on tenant protections, zoning and land use policies, and short-term rentals to homelessness and affordable housing

Washington, DC – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released today a new report, “Voters Choose Housing: A Summary of Housing and Homelessness Ballot Measures in the November 2022 Elections.” The report gives an overview of nearly 100 ballot measures that devote new resources to affordable housing, strengthen tenant protections, respond to homelessness, amend zoning and land use policies, facilitate affordable housing development, and tax or regulate short-term rentals (STRs). The report also includes case studies of ballot measure campaigns in Florida, California, New York, and Colorado, providing insight about the campaigns, successful organizing tactics, and key lessons learned.

“The widespread success of housing and homelessness ballot measures sends a strong message to elected officials: housing is a winning issue and transcends partisan divides,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “The election results should encourage policymakers on both sides of the aisle to champion affordable housing and inspire housing advocates to pursue ballot measures as a pathway to enact housing solutions.”

The report offers a comprehensive summary of housing-related measures that appeared on ballots in states and localities across the country during the recent elections. The report finds that voters approved measures to establish rent stabilization or strengthen existing rent stabilization ordinances in every community where they had the opportunity to do so. Across every region of the country, voters collectively authorized nearly $2 billion in bonds for affordable housing development, acquisition, and rehabilitation.

The report shows that ballot measures were also used to create other mechanisms to raise revenues for affordable housing, including real estate transfer fees, vacancy taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, business taxes, and the redirection of existing tax revenues into affordable housing. Measures to tax STRs, establish lodging taxes to fund housing programs, and reinvest existing lodging tax revenues into affordable housing were proven successful. Strict regulations on STRs were unpopular among voters. 

Not all successful ballot measures were helpful in addressing the housing crisis. The report observes that housing and homelessness advocates should be prepared to respond to future efforts to criminalize homelessness via ballot measures.

The report also includes case studies of five ballot measure campaigns in four states around the country. The case studies offer detailed accounts of the campaigns – including strategies, tactics, challenges faced, and achievements realized – that could be beneficial for those planning future housing-related ballot measure campaigns.

Read the report at:

# # #