California Proposition 4, Low-Rent Housing Amendment (June 1980)
If Proposition 4 had been approved, it would have removed the requirement that any proposed low-rent housing project be automatically placed on the ballot for a vote of the people in the city, town or county where the housing project would be built. Instead, under Proposition 4, to put the question of approving any proposed low-rent housing project on the ballot, signatures on petitions equalling 10% of the vote cast for Governor of California in the most recent election would have to have been collected, in order for voters to be able to vote on the proposal.
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- SECTION 1.
No low rent housing project shall hereafter be developed, constructed, or acquired in any manner by any state public body until, a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town or county, as the case may be, in which it is proposed to develop, construct, or acquire the same, voting upon such issue, approve such project by voting in favor thereof at an election to be held for that purpose, or at any general or special election.Before a state public body develops, constructs, or acquires a low rent housing project, it shall provide public notice of the proposed development, construction, or acquisition. Thereafter, the proposed development, construction, or acquisition shall be subject to referendum in the manner prescribed herein.
- If a low rent housing project is proposed to be located in an unincorporated portion of the county, the county board of supervisors shall specify in the public notice the area of the county is determines will be substantially affected by the proposed low rent housing project, including any substantially affected area of a city or cities within the county.
- A referendum shall be held if a petition signed by qualified electors of the city and county, city, or the area of the county specified by the county board of supervisors in which the project will be located, numbering not less than 10 percent of the total votes cast within such city and county, city, or area at the last gubernatorial election for all candidates for Governor, is submitted to the clerk of the legislative body of the city and county, city or county within 60 days of the date of the public notice required by this section. If a majority of the qualified electors of the city and county, city, or area of the county specified by the county board of supervisors voting on the referendum disapprove of the proposed development, construction, or acquisition of the low rent housing project, the state public body shall not proceed with such project. If a referendum is not held pursuant to this section, or if held, the proposed development, construction, or acquisition is not disapproved, the state public body may proceed with the development, construction, or acquisition of the low rent housing project, and the development, construction, or acquisition of such project shall not be subject to further referendum.
- For the purposes of this article the term "low rent housing project" shall mean any development composed of urban or rural dwellings, apartments or other living accommodations for persons of low income, financed in whole or in part by the Federal Government or a state public body or to which the Federal Government or a state public body extends assistance by supplying all or part of the labor, by guaranteeing the payment of liens, or otherwise.
- For the purposes of this article only there shall be excluded from the term "low rent housing project" any such project where there shall be in existence on the effective date hereof, a contract for financial assistance between any state public body and the Federal Government in respect to such project.
- For the purposes of this article only "persons of low income" shall mean persons or families who lack the amount of income which is necessary (as determined by the state public body developing, constructing, or acquiring the housing project) to enable them, without financial assistance, to live in decent, safe and sanitary dwellings, without overcrowding.
- For the purposes of this article the term "state public body" shall mean this State, or any city, city and county, county, district, authority, agency, or any other subdivision or public body of this State.
- For the purposes of this article the term "Federal Government" shall mean the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
Proposition 4's official ballot summary said:
- "Eliminates present requirement of advance approval at an election before a lowering housing project can be developed, constructed or acquired by a state public body. Substitutes therefore provisions that require advance public notice of such a project and subjects the project to a referendum election upon petition by 10 percent of the electors within 60 days of the notice. If project is not disapproved at the referendum election or no referendum is requested, the public body may proceed with the project without further referendum."
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 4 on the ballot via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 47 (Statutes of 1978, Resolution Chapter 72).