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NEW POLL: Strong Majority of Voters Support Housing Bond on November Ballot

55% of likely voters say they would support a $9 billion bond, as homelessness and housing affordability continue to top lists of concerns, according to EMC Research survey

For immediate release:
  • Erin Ivie
  • Director of Communications, Office of Assemblymember Buffy Wicks
  • 510-619-8495

SACRAMENTO — A strong majority of Californians would support a state housing bond on the November ballot, with 55% of likely voters saying they would approve a $9 billion bond, as homelessness and housing affordability continue to top the list of voter concerns, according to a new poll released today by EMC Research, Inc

Support for a bond grows to 64% when voters are reminded a measure could provide tens of thousands of homes to those at risk of homelessness, help put homeownership in reach for more middle-income families — and would not raise taxes. The survey was conducted between March 27 and April 4, 2024 among a sample of 1,000 likely voters in California.

“This poll demonstrates what we all know — that finding solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis is a top priority for voters,” says Asm. Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), author of AB 1657, a housing bond proposal that would produce and preserve tens of thousands of affordable homes. “Our growing coalition is going to do everything we can to put this important measure on the ballot, and give the people of California the opportunity to support affordable housing in November.” 

While the state’s multi-year budget shortfall has threatened funding for many successful housing programs, a housing bond would provide a stable, ongoing source of investment for affordable development for years to come. An April study from Enterprise Community Partners finds California has nearly 47,000 affordable homes in the construction pipeline waiting on funding to move forward. All told, these homes would provide housing to more than 512,000 low-income households over the next 55 years. AB 1657, in its current form, would help the state produce and preserve more than 120,000 homes.

“The growing unhoused population is the most urgent humanitarian crisis impacting our state. Too many Californians are living on the street or in overcrowded housing because they cannot find a safe, affordable place to call home. Where we devote our resources is a reflection of our values as Californians and providing affordable housing has to be a top priority.” says Senator María Elena Durazo (D- Los Angeles). “This new poll shows there is a viable path forward for a substantial affordable housing bond on the November ballot. Now it’s up to all of us in the Legislature to work together to get a proposal before voters.”

While state lawmakers and communities across California have taken significant steps in recent years to respond to the housing crisis, progress would be severely undermined without ongoing funding for housing programs. Although the state has doubled production of new affordable housing in the last five years, California is funding only 12% of what is needed to meet its housing goals, according to a recent report from the California Housing Partnership. 

California needs to produce an additional 2.5 million housing units in the next decade to meet the unmet need, according to the Statewide Housing Plan, including at least 1.2 million homes for lower-income households. Since 2020, an average of 20,000 new affordable units have been built across the state each year. 

“Affordable housing is the path to prosperity, and it is heartening to see voters support investments that can help put a roof over the heads of the far too many Californians struggling to find a safe, affordable place to call home,” says Danny Curtin, Director for the California Conference of Carpenters. “Asm. Wicks has authored a housing bond proposal that can help every community build their way out of the state’s housing crisis. We look forward to the Legislature giving voters a chance to act on it.”

A growing number of legislators have backed Asm. Wicks’ bond proposal, with 25 members of the Legislature signing on as coauthors of the bill. A coalition of more than 250 community organizations have also voiced support for the measure

“California has a severe shortage of homes that lower-income households can afford, and the only way to close these gaps is to produce more affordable housing — on a scale that matches the size of the problem,” says Tom Bannon, CEO of the California Apartment Association. “It is a positive sign that voters view a state housing bond as a key part of this solution.” 

“Now is not the time to stop funding the affordable housing Californians need, and this new poll should be a shot in the arm for the many affordable housing champions in the Legislature,” says Ray Pearl, Executive Director of the California Housing Consortium. “Voters want to support construction of more affordable homes, and with the state revenue picture still unsettled, a bond is the only way the state can keep producing them. We look forward to working with policymakers during these critical next few months to finalize a bond proposal that achieves all of our shared goals — maintaining the affordable housing pipeline, keeping tens of thousands of workers on the job, and giving more struggling lower-income Californians a place to call home.”

For more information:

  • A summary of the new EMC Research polls is available here
  • Enterprise’s April housing pipeline report is available here
  • The California Housing Partnership’s report on recent affordable housing production is here