This election season, NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes nonpartisan voter engagement project tracked the major local and state ballot measures across the country related to affordable housing and tenant protections. The updated Our Homes, Our Votes Ballot Tracker reflects the results of the votes on these measures during the mid-term election. There were some big wins for affordable housing advocates—and some narrow losses. The success of the initiatives that passed show strong support from voters for addressing the lack of affordable housing in their states. Congratulations to all our state partners and allies who helped achieve these outstanding successes.
In California, voters approved both Propositions 1 and 2, creating billions of dollars in funding for the construction of affordable homes for the chronically homeless, people with disabilities or mental illness, and military veterans. In San Francisco, voters approved Prop C, bringing $2.4 billion for affordable housing and wrap-around services for the chronically homeless. Voters in Austin, TX, overwhelmingly approved a $250 million affordable housing bond. Voters in Oregon passed two major ballot initiatives to make access to safe and affordable homes possible for 12,000 of the lowest income people in that state. Voters in Charlotte and Chapel Hill, NC, and in the City of Bellingham and San Juan County in Washington state also passed housing bonds designed to address affordable housing. Voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah all overwhelmingly passed measures to expand Medicaid coverage to all low income adults, a critical tool for ending homelessness.
In the coming days, NLIHC will conduct a deeper analysis of these results and provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the results and their impacts. One thing is clear: the more low-income residents and allies vote, the more we move the needle on affordable housing. These ballot initiatives, those both passed and narrowly defeated, represent real movement towards increasing public and policy-maker awareness of, and actions to address, the need for more affordable housing in America.