Voters will be asked today to authorize re-purposing $600 million in general obligation bonds to help fund construction of rental housing for low-income veterans and their families across the state.
Proposition 41 would redirect two-thirds of the amount of a bond issue approved by voters in 2008 that can now only be used to fund home loans for veterans.
The Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 would increase state bond repayment costs averaging about $50 million annually over 15 years, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
The bonds would be repaid from general tax revenues.
Proposition 41 would allow the state to provide local governments, nonprofit organizations and private developers with financial assistance, such as low-interest loans, to fund part of a project’s costs.
At least half the funds would go toward housing homeless veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
The measure would require services for programs addressing homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless be provided in the facilities built.
“Veterans have devoted their lives to the protection of our country and it is absolutely unacceptable when they cannot afford a place for them and their families to sleep,” Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A Perez, D-Los Angeles, said on Oct. 10 when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill he introduced to put the measure on the ballot.
“As citizens, it is our basic obligation to stand up for these men and women who have served our nation.”
Proposition 41 is endorsed by both the California Democratic Party and California Republican Party.
It is opposed by the Green Party of California, which believes a revised version should be placed on the November ballot with provisions added calling for the proposed housing to be placed close to jobs and public transportation; preventing undue profiteering by private builders, developers and financiers; assuring that companies providing management services to senior citizens and low-income renters would not shift funds toward profits before providing housing; ensuring adequate state staffing to oversee management services; and establishing a publicly owned state bank or authorizing a feasibility study to start one.
There is no organized opposition to Proposition 41.
The legislation putting Proposition 41 on the ballot passed both houses of the Legislature without any no votes.
California voters have approved all 27 previous veterans housing bond measures.