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News Release —
Housing Bond to Appear on Bay Area Ballots

A nine-county effort to address affordable housing goes to voters in November.
An architectural rendering of a housing development.

Body of News Release

San Rafael, CA – A housing bond measure designed to address the San Francisco Bay Area’s shared housing and homelessness crisis will appear on the November ballot in nine Bay Area counties, including Marin.

The Board of Directors for the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) -- including Marin County Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters and Novato City Councilmember Pat Eklund -- voted June 26 to support the ballot measure that would raise $20 billion to build more affordable homes and help keep existing homes affordable. The bond could fund an estimated 72,000 new affordable homes around the Bay Area, more than double what would be possible without a bond.

The counties participating are Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. At the urging of BAHFA, the counties have expressed interest in providing funding for more housing for low-income seniors, local workforce, people without homes, and other low-income residents. If approved, the funding would facilitate the administration and construction of homes for affordable to lower-income households in a housing marketplace that is one of the most expensive in the country.

“Marin has an urgent need for affordable housing,” Moulton-Peters said. “As a result of the region’s housing shortage, we have high rents and home prices that force people to live far from work, increasing traffic and pollution. High housing costs put a major strain on working families, seniors and young people starting out. Too many Marin residents live in overcrowded and unsafe housing, and as a result many of our vital employees and valued community members are leaving the area.”

Marin’s Board of Supervisors has listed affordable housing and homelessness as two of its top focus areas. The Board heard a report in November 2023 that provided an overview of the BAHFA and the proposed regional bond measure. According to the report, almost 39,000 people in the Bay Area experienced homelessness in 2022 and another 575,000 low-wage workers are at risk of homelessness. People of all income levels are leaving the Bay Area for good because of high costs of living or commuting more than 90 minutes to live in more affordable areas. Employers are having more trouble hiring and retaining a workforce. 

BAHFA already secured $20 million from the 2021 state budget to start joint operations and implement pilot projects. Boosted further by additional state funds, philanthropic donations, and support from private industry, BAHFA is expecting to deliver over $50 million to protect, preserve and produce enough housing for all Bay Area residents, known as the 3 Ps, if the majority of voters support the ballot measure.

Leelee Thomas, Deputy Director of the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA), said a local expenditure plan will be created for Marin’s portion of funds in anticipation of bond measure passage. The nine counties would each present and adopt final expenditure plans by February 2025.

The steering committee made up of local elected officials and staff from Marin cities, towns and the County will meet this summer to plan how the funds would be used locally if the ballot measure succeeds. Outreach to people of color, lower-income households, and special-needs community members will be prioritized because they are most at risk of losing housing. 

Learn more about Marin’s BAHFA involvement online

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Page updated June 26, 2024