Leagues of Women Voters endorses affordable housing bond measure

The Leagues of Women Voters of Santa Clara County has endorsed the county’s affordable housing bond measure that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“This measure is a significant step in addressing the most pressing issue facing thousands of residents across our county – the lack of affordable housing options,” said Roberta Hollimon, chairwoman of the County Council of the Leagues of Women Voters, which represents all cities in the county. “The League supports the affordable housing bond for its ability to drive immediate and long-term positive outcomes and benefits for many individuals and families of Santa Clara County, from our homeless communities to our working families.”

Members of the Leagues noted that the affordable housing measure supports a number of the organization’s positions. The group identified the bond as an important mechanism in addressing the homeless crisis in Santa Clara County, where the region is estimated to have the fourth largest homeless population of all major metropolitan areas in the nation.

“The affordable housing bond measure aligns with fundamental League positions, first and foremost supporting the basic human need that everyone should have access to a safe and affordable home,” Hollimon said. “The measure is consistent with our strong positions about clean air and climate change. By ensuring more affordable homes near job centers and transit, we will reduce traffic congestion and reduce polluting greenhouse gases.”

Hollimon commended the measure language for its inclusion of financial accounting and public review provisions.

Annual audits are required and will be reviewed by an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

Proponents said Santa Clara County will work with private and nonprofit housing construction companies to build the housing and will use portions of the funds for land acquisition to build the needed housing.

Supporters of the $950 million bond measure claim that it will create safe, affordable homes for local residents, including the homeless, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and low-income and working families.

If approved by two-thirds of voters, the bond will provide $700 million for affordable housing, $100 million for affordable housing for low-income families and $150 million for affordable housing and programs for working families.