This November 2022, affordable housing is on the ballot in both Berkeley and Oakland. East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) has endorsed six local ballot measures, three in Berkeley and three in Oakland, that are in line with EBHO’s organizational goals.
Measure L – Infrastructure and Affordable Housing Bond – YES
$650 MM bond, which includes 200M for affordable housing, 300M for streets, sidewalks, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and 150M to other public infrastructure priorities, including improvements and enhancements to Berkeley’s waterfront, underground utilities, parks, pools, and public buildings.
Measure M – Vacancy Tax – YES
Taxes property owners who keep residential units vacant for more than six months in a year, $3000 for each non-exempt condo, duplex, single-family dwelling, or townhouse vacant in the first year, and $6000 for all other residential units. The tax respectively doubles to $6000 and $12,000 for subsequent years. Exempts owners of apartments with 4 or fewer units who live on their property, if that is their only property. This is estimated to affect about 700 homes in the City and raise between $3.9-5.9M in the first year.
Measure N – Article 34 Authorization – YES
This would allow Berkeley to develop, construct or acquire an additional 3,000 low-rent residential units to meet the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), without seeking separate voter approval. Article 34 of the State Constitution requires voters to approve the construction of any new units of publicly financed or owned affordable housing through a referendum.
Measure Q – Article 34 Authorization – YES
This would allow Oakland to develop, construct or acquire an additional 13,000 low-rent residential units to meet the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), without seeking separate voter approval. Article 34 of the State Constitution requires voters to approve the construction of any new units of publicly financed or owned affordable housing through a referendum.
Measure U – Infrastructure and Affordable Housing Bond – YES
$850 MM bond which includes $350 MM for the construction and preservation of interim and permanent affordable housing, other funding for street improvements and paving, and the preservation or improvement of public resources such as libraries, parks, and recreation centers.
Measure V – Just Cause Expansion – YES
Extends further eviction provisions to cover tenants in RVs and tiny homes on wheels on private property, newly constructed rental units after the first 10 years they’re built, and families of school-age children or educators during the school years. Removes failure to extend (re-sign) a long-term lease as grounds for eviction, and allows tenants to rent on a periodic (month-to-month) basis.
A recording of a ballot measure forum that EBHO held in late September to discuss the endorsed measures can be found on EBHO’s YouTube channel here.
EBHO also sent questionnaires to candidates for Mayor and City Council in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro. The complete questionnaires for candidates who responded are online at our website, as part of our Election Guide. Happy voting!
by Rev. Sophia DeWitt