Article 34 of the State Constitution requires voter approval before certain types of affordable housing projects may be “developed, constructed or acquired” by a state or local agency. The type of housing that is subject to prior voter approval is referred to as a “low rent housing project.” A low rent housing project is defined as having more than 49% of the units occupied by lower income households and where the property is exempt from payment of property taxes. Lower income households are defined as persons and families whose income does not exceed 80% of area median income.
Measure D would authorize a state or local agency to develop, construct or acquire low rent housing projects in the Cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento and the unincorporated area of the County of Sacramento, subject to a limit of 1% of the existing housing units in the County annually. Any unconstructed units can be carried over each year.
The provision of financing, such as long term loans or other forms of subsidies, by a state or local agency for a private development which falls under the definition of “low rent housing project” is encompassed by the term “developed” under Article 34 of the State Constitution. However, Measure D does not raise any taxes or fees, and it does not mandate state or local funding of any affordable housing projects.
A private affordable housing development can obtain an exemption from payment of property taxes for those units that are restricted to low income households if the owner is a non-profit corporation. If that development has more than 49% of the units restricted to low income households and a state or local agency provided some form of financing, prior voter approval is required under Article 34 of the State Constitution.
Measure D does not require development of the number of affordable housing dwelling units authorized, nor does it supercede each jurisdiction’s authority to approve or disapprove affordable housing projects. Measure D does not amend or otherwise change the Housing Element of the General Plan of each jurisdiction. Measure D is placed on the ballot by the County of Sacramento Board of Supervisors.
Source: County Counsel's Impartial Analysis of Measure D