Article XX.XIV of the California Constitution (commonly known as "Article 34") provides that no "low rent housing project" may be "developed, constructed, or acquired" by any "state public body" unless the project is approved by the voters. Article 34 defines "low rent housing project" as housing affordable to persons of low income. State statutes exclude certain types of housing development from this definition. Article 34 does not define "developed, constructed, or acquired", but state statutes define this term as excluding certain types of financing activities by governmental agencies. Article 34 defines "state public body" as including a city, among other governmental agencies.
Courts have interpreted Article 34 to allow a locality to seek general voter approval of a specified maximum number of low rent housing units without identifying specific housing projects.
The City currently provides financial assistance to affordable housing providers in the form of grants or loans to develop affordable rental housing. Such housing is restricted to occupancy by low income households and other income groups at a restricted affordable rent. The City follows income and rent affordability standards set by the state and federal government. Most of these housing providers are nonprofit developers, although some are for-profit entities. In most cases, these housing projects are owned and managed by the affordable housing providers, although in a few cases the City owns and manages the housing.
This measure would grant voter approvaI pursuant to Article 34 for the City to develop, construct, or acquire up to 13,000 low rent "social housing" units within Oakland. "Social housing" is defined as housing units that would accommodate extremely low-income, very low-income, and low-income residents - these income. groups are defined by state and federal affordable housing standards -- and that are either owned and managed by the City, or owned and managed by an affordable housing provider with development or acquisition assistance from the City. The 13,000 unit figure is derived from the Regional Housing Needs Allocation ("RHNA") goals for affordable housing production set by the state on localities, including Oakland. The 13,000 number represents the total defiGit of required affordable units not produced in Oakland over the previous RHNA cycle, plus the total RHNA affordable unit production goals for Oakland over the next RHNA cycle (2023 through 2031).
This measure only provides legal authorization for the development of the specified number of affordable housing units and does not allocate any City funds to support such development.
The Oakland City Council placed this measure on the ballot. A "yes" vote supports the passage of the ordinance authorizing the City to assist development, construction, or acquisition of up to 13,000 low rent social housing units within the City; and a "no" vote opposes passage of the ordinance. A majority vote (i.e., more than 50% of the votes cast) is required to pass the measure.
Source: City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure L