Proposition 46 and Proposition 1C
California is the state best known for using general obligation bonds to fund affordable housing. In November 2002, California voters approved Proposition 46, which authorized the issuance of $2.1 billion in bonds for affordable housing initiatives statewide. The debt will be repaid over 30 years through the state’s general fund. By July 2006, California had awarded over $1.5 billion of these funds through a variety of housing programs, contributing to the development or preservation of more than 97,100 rental and owner-occupied homes and shelter spaces.
In November 2006, California voters approved Proposition 1C, a still larger bond issue to support affordable homes — this time totaling $2.85 billion. In 2007, the state released $290.6 million from the two bond funds to provide affordable housing for 13,507 more residents in 44 California counties. Over one-half of these funds were reserved for a variety of housing programs, including the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental homes, development of emergency and transitional housing and homeownership assistance for low-income households. The Prop 1C bond also includes over $1 billion in unprecedented housing-related infrastructure subsidies to spur more mixed-income multifamily rental and ownership housing in transit-oriented and infill development.
As of June 2015, it was estimated that over $100 million of the funds remained. Approximately 84,000 housing units and 3,000 shelter spaces had been constructed since the Prop1C bond was approved.
One product of the bonds is the Villa Madera Family Housing in Oxnard, Calif. The project consists of 72 units of affordable multifamily homes, along with a 3,655-square-foot community room and an outdoor play area. The development was funded in part by California’s Multifamily Housing Program, which was supported by funds raised through the Proposition 46 housing bond issue.
In 2013, voters in Austin approved $65 million in general obligation bonds for affordable housing. The bond funds the construction or renovation of 3,500 homes with a particular focus on serving households earning 30 percent of AMI or less. The bond funds are allocated to several different affordable housing initiatives: $44.75 million for affordable rental housing development (56 percent of this was still available as of June 2016), $6.75 million for acquisition costs for affordable housing development (100 percent still available in June 2016), $12 million for the GO! Repair home repair program (29 percent still available in June 2016), and $1.5 million available for the Architectural Barrier Removal program for renters to improve home accessibility (97 percent still available in June 2016).
Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities General Obligation Bonds (Florida)
In 2004, voters in Florida authorized the Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities General Obligation Bonds, totaling almost $3 billion, to be funded over 40 years. Up to $195 million of the bond proceeds were authorized for “constructing and improving affordable housing for the elderly and working families to encourage home ownership through the acquisition, construction and renovation of residential units.”
The county allocated $32 million to build new public housing units and $137.7 million to build other new affordable housing. As of 2016, Miami-Dade had used $10.5 million toward the construction of affordable housing and an additional $19.5 million for capital improvements and social and cultural resources.