ABAG/MTC-Backed ACA 1 Goes to Voters in 2024, a Boost to Bay Area Housing Bond


ABAG-MTC backed Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, which would lower the vote threshold for local special taxes and bonds to fund affordable housing, transportation, resilience and other public infrastructure projects from two-thirds to 55%, will go to voters in November 2024.

The state Legislature last month approved sending the amendment, authored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, to voters with the backing of the entire Bay Area legislative delegation. ABAG and MTC sent letters of support to Sacramento and ABAG/MTC legislative staff actively lobbied the bill to help get it over the finish line.

Similar bills have been proposed over the past two decades but until now none were approved by the house of origin, a hurdle that itself requires a two-thirds vote. Other supporters included Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, Enterprise Community Partners, the California Professional Firefighters, and individual cities and counties. 

The Bay Area is preparing to place a regional housing bond on the November 2024 ballot, with 80% of funds flowing to counties and several large cities and 20% designated for regionwide programs administered by the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA).

"While Bay Area voters have a long history of generously supporting taxes to fund transportation and housing improvements, measures in some parts of the region have repeatedly fallen short of the two-thirds margin," MTC-ABAG Executive Director Andrew Fremier noted.  "ACA 1 would reinstate the ability of voting majorities to address vital community needs."

The election of ACA 1 co-author Robert Rivas to the Assembly speakership helped build momentum for the proposed amendment, as did the nonprofit housing community's raising of $10 million to gather signatures for a citizen's initiative if the legislature didn't approve the amendment.