Emeryville’s Measure C is a $50 million bond to fund affordable housing. It was put on the ballot by the Emeryville City Council by a unanimous vote.
It would tackle housing affordability in a number of ways: By building permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, buying existing housing and converting it to affordable housing, and providing first-time home loans to low and middle income households.
A coalition of neighborhood groups and housing advocates has raised almost $8,000 for the Measure C campaign.
That’s not a lot of money. Probably because there’s no opposition campaign to beat. No one has raised money to formally oppose the initiative. The backers of the bond don’t know of any group that’s publicly opposed it.
But a $50 million bond is expensive — to pay it back plus interest, the city will have to tax property owners ... the rate is about $49 per $100,000 of assessed home value per year.
Bonds like that have failed in other cities. This is the first time Emeryville has tried it out.
It will have to get two-thirds of the vote to pass. And because homeowners tend to vote at higher rates than renters, that means two thirds of the vote from a population that disproportionately won’t benefit from the bond.
So if you want to put up $50 million to help low income people live in Emeryville, vote yes on Measure C.
If you don’t want homeowners to have to finance affordable housing, vote no.