In the News
PAULINA PINEDA || September 27, 2023
Campaign for Bay Area affordable housing bond that could unlock up to $20 billion starts gaining momentum
Across the nine-county region, it could help build more than 100,000 affordable homes, proponents say.
A coalition of Bay Area officials and affordable housing developers is working to advance a bond to next November’s ballot that could accelerate affordable housing construction across the nine-county region through an unprecedented influx of taxpayer cash.
The funding measure would be a boon for developers who say it would allow them to tap into even more public funding to complete projects needed to house more of the region’s lower and middle-income residents.
Natalie Orenstein || August 21, 2023
Billions for affordable housing? Voters may get chance to weigh in
A regional bond measure could fund affordable development in Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond at a size and scale never seen before.
Last year, Oakland voters approved a $850 million infrastructure bond measure, including the largest single allocation for affordable housing in the city’s history: $350 million.
But a measure likely headed to Bay Area ballots next year could raise money for affordable hous- ing at a scale never seen before in the region.
Efforts are underway for an affordable housing bond for the entire nine-county Bay Area in 2024 that could provide $10 to $20 billion.
Noah Arroyo || July 12, 2023
Game changer? Bay Area could get up to $20 billion for affordable housing
As San Francisco and other cities face pressure from the state to build unprecedented levels of affordable housing, officials throughout the Bay Area are hatching a plan to help the construction with a windfall of money.
They aim to put a regional bond measure on the November 2024 ballot for as much as $20 billion — and possibly try to amend the state constitution to help it and similar measures pass. Because builders could use the money to qualify for other funding, it could unlock as much as an additional $30 billion.
“We’ve never had the entire region have those kinds of resources,” said Kate Hartley, director of the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, which is drafting the measure. If the bond measure and the amendment were passed, it would be “a game changer for housing efforts,” she said.
Devan J. Patel || February 16, 2024
Rising costs and fewer resources could slow affordable housing production. Here's how a $20B regional bond could help
Building a financing stack remains one of the biggest hurdles for affordable housing
production but a regional affordable housing bond measure of up to $20 billion may serve as a game-changer if approved in the next general election.
Developers typically use multiple sources of funding to move projects forward,
including private loans and local, regional and state credits. Over the last few years, however, developers have needed to scour the funding barrel as it's become more difficult to fund projects.
A report from UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found that projects utilizing low-income housing tax credits averaged 3.5 funding sources between 2000 and 2018.
The same study found one-in-four projects required at least five and some required as many as 11.
Unlike commercial developments, the problem is not from the reluctance of private lenders to or higher borrowing costs.
"We don’t have some of the same pressures that other commercial developers face," said
Rob Wilkins, Affirmed Housing’s vice president of Northern California.
"From a lender’s perspective, you have to show there’s a demand and affordable housing is a big need everywhere."