California Proposition 41, Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond (2014)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 Background
- 4 Support
- 5 Opposition
- 6 Media editorial positions
- 7 Reports and analyses
- 8 Path to the ballot
- 9 Similar measures
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 Additional reading
- 13 References
- Amended the Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008 to reduce the amount of authorized bonds from $900 million to $300 million.
- Enacted the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 to authorize $600 million in bonds to provide multifamily housing, such as apartment complexes, to low-income veterans and supportive housing for homeless veterans.
- Authorized the legislature to amend the bond act by majority vote.
- Imposed reporting requirements on the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs to evaluate any program established by the VHHPA.
- Authorized the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide specified assistance to veterans.
The measure authorized the state to provide local governments, nonprofit organizations and private developers with financial assistance, such as low-interest loans, so that they may construct, renovate and acquire affordable multifamily housing for low-income veterans and their families. “Low-income” was here defined as “those who earn less than 80 percent of average family income, as adjusted by family size and county.” At least one-half of the funds shall be used to build supportive housing for homeless veterans.
The allocation from the general tax revenues are to average about $50 million annually for 15 years following the measure's approval. The amount spent on these programs are estimated to be less than one-tenth of one percent of the state budget each year for those 15 years.
Below are the official election results:
- These results are from the California Secretary of State.
Text of measure
- “Authorizes $600 million in general obligation bonds for affordable multifamily supportive housing to relieve homelessness, affordable transitional housing, affordable rental housing, or related facilities for veterans and their families.”
- "Provides funding for programs to address homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless and annual evaluations of the effectiveness of housing programs funded by the bonds."
- "Appropriates money from General Fund to pay off bonds."
Fiscal impact statement:
- "Increased state bond costs averaging about $50 million annually over 15 years."
In 2008, Californians passed Proposition 12, which authorized the issuance of $900 million in bonds to create a fund to assist veterans who wanted to purchase farms, homes and mobile home properties. Proposition 42 would replace $600 million of the $900 million authorized by Proposition 12 with a different bond.
Coalition for Veterans Housing led the campaign in support of the proposition.
- Former US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta (D)
- California Democratic Party
- California Republican Party
- League of California Cities
- Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH)
- The American Legion, Department of California
- U.S. Vets
- Swords to Plowshares
- Vietnam Veterans of California, Inc.
- Veterans Village of San Diego
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- California Labor Federation
- State Building and Construction Trades Council
- California Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart
- Reserve Officer’s Association
- Military Officers Association of America
- California Association of Veteran Service Agencies
- California State Sheriffs’ Association
- Veteran Resource Centers of America
- Kings County Veterans Services
- Corporation for Supportive Housing
- Housing California
- California Coalition for Rural Housing
- Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
- County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators’ Association of California
- California Housing Partnership Corporation
- Urban Counties Caucus
- United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
- St. Anthony Foundation
- First Place for Youth
- New Directions
- Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
- Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
- South County Democratic Club of San Luis Obispo County, California
- Housing on Merit
- Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation
- Many Mansions
- Coalition for Veterans’ Land and Mullen House
- California Special Districts Association Board of Directors
- Veterans Week San Diego
- California Women 4 Women
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4696
A video ad by Prop 41 for Veterans Affordable Housing in California.
The following argument in favor - signed by Rep. John A. Pérez, Leon E. Panetta and Stephen Peck - and rebuttal to argument against - signed by Ed Ford, Peter Cameron and Joseph Garcia - were found in the state's voter guide:
This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- “This is a fiscally responsible ballot measure that will help thousands of homeless veterans get a roof over their heads. This act doesn’t create new taxes or add new debt to California. In fact, this act will save taxpayer dollars in healthcare and public safety by getting veterans off the streets and into safe, affordable housing.”
- “By voting YES on Proposition 41, we can act to make sure homeless veterans have access to quality, affordable housing and give at-risk veterans the opportunity to find the job training, counseling and rehabilitation services they need - and since this Act uses money that has already been approved, but not spent, we can honor their service without adding to the debt or raising taxes.”
- “As our conflicts overseas draw to a close, up to 45,000 young veterans will be returning home to California. They have sacrificed so much for our country, and some will be coming home with no jobs or homes waiting for them. We cannot allow these men and women who have served our country be left on their own.”
- "This is a fiscally responsible proposition that will help thousands of homeless California veterans get a roof over their heads."
- "By using previously approved but unsold bond funds, Proposition 41 doesn’t create new taxes or add new debt to California."
Other supporting arguments included:
- SCANPH argued in the proposition's favor, saying, "The greatest drivers of homelessness among veterans are the high cost of housing in California and low incomes among veterans. We cannot end homelessness among veterans without affordable housing for veterans living in poverty. Giving veterans a safe, decent, affordable place to live dramatically reduces local and state costs including health care, incarceration, and other crisis services. Also, by building apartments for veterans in need we are creating jobs and generating revenue for the state coffers."
- Rep. John Pérez (D-53), who sponsored the measure in the legislature, said, "We know we have a huge problem, where veterans come home from Iraq and Afghanistan are finding themselves in homelessness at a faster rate than even their Vietnam-era counterparts."
| Total campaign cash |
as of June 3, 2014
The following were the donors who contributed $10,000 or more to the campaign supporting Proposition 41:
|Building California's Future: John A. Perez Ballot Measure Committee||$89,000|
|California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization PAC||$50,000|
|State Building & Construction Trades Council of CA PAC||$34,000|
|California State Council of Laborers Issues PAC||$30,000|
|Dignity CA SEIU - United Long Term Care Workers Local 6434||$25,000|
|Century Housing Corporation||$25,000|
|Pace of CA School Employees Association||$20,000|
|Professional Engineers in California Government||$20,000|
|Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians||$20,000|
|Members' Voice of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of CA||$16,000|
|Anthem Blue Cross||$15,000|
|California State Pipe Trades Council of the United Association||$12,500|
|International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 11||$10,000|
|Southern California Pipe Traders District Council #16||$10,000|
|United Nurses Association/Union of Health Care Professionals PAC||$10,000|
|Barona Band of Mission Indians||$10,000|
|Union of American Physicians and Dentists Medical Action Committee||$10,000|
|AFSCME - CA People||$10,000|
|SEIU, Local 1000||$10,000|
|United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund||$10,000|
|CA Teachers Association PAC||$10,000|
|CA Apartment Association||$10,000|
|CA Dental Political Action Committee||$10,000|
|CA Solar Energy industries Association (SUNPAC)||$10,000|
|UFCW Western States Council Issues PAC||$10,000|
|Motor Vehicle Software Corp.||$10,000|
|CA State Council of Laborers Issues PAC||$10,000|
|Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America||$10,000|
|Encore Capital Group, Inc.||$10,000|
|BNSF Railway Company||$10,000|
KCRA noted that no organized opposition to Proposition 41 existed.
- Green Party of California
- California Tea Party Groups (CTPG)
- California Federation of Republican Women
The Green Party of California stated that the proposition "should be re-written by the state legislature and brought back in November 2014." The Green Party opposed the measure for the following reasons:
- "[Bonds] disproportionately burden the common woman and man. Bonds are predominately purchased by institutions and the “one percent.” As they are paid off, there is an upward transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich. Therefore bonds should be used sparingly."
- "We believe helping homeless veterans off the street is the humane and responsible thing for society to do... But its a cruel irony to fund such services through a regressive tax, considering how often war is fought to defend the self-interests of the fossil-fuel industry and other multi-national/resource-extracting corporations (who also often pay little or no taxes) -- while a majority of the tax dollars that working families pay, go to fund the military-industrial-national security complex... Socialize the costs, privatize the gains."
- "This program will be paid for by the taxpayers instead of by the veterans who paid for it under the original Cal-Vet program."
- "If the funding does not go directly to the intended beneficiaries, there is risk of possible mismanagement and waste."
Media editorial positions
- The Bakersfield Californian: "The saying "support our troops" shouldn't come with an expiration date. Service to this country should earn our veterans a little extra consideration."
- Chico Enterprise-Record: "Usually we're not fond of bond financing in a state smothered in long-term debt, but the amount is small by state bond standards, the state's financial picture has improved a bit, and the recent news about the mistreatment of veterans demands whatever solutions our government can provide."
- Hanford Sentinel: "This support is especially important in light of the federal government’s failure to provide for these people who stepped up to serve their country."
- Lompoc Record: "And we’ll give you our quick and simple answer — it absolutely is a good use of taxpayers’ money."
- Los Angeles Times: "By reducing the number of homeless veterans and connecting more of them to the rehabilitation and mental health services they need, the bonds could help the state avoid some of the healthcare and social service costs it faces today. They also could lead to more homeless veterans rejoining the workforce. Granted, $25 million a year is a sizable sum. Yet it's clear that Proposition 12 missed the mark in terms of meeting the needs of the state's returning veterans. Voters should have the chance to rethink it."
- Los Angeles Daily News: "Too many military men and women who have represented the United States in troubled times, in hostile situations and with families waiting back home, are in need of new beginnings. This would be the governor’s salute to them."
- Marin Independent Journal: "These men and women have served our nation and that service should not be forgotten, especially at a time when thousands of veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan re-enter civilian life. Having a home often is a first and vital step out of the downward spiral of homelessness."
- Merced Sun-Star: "Sheltering and caring for homeless vets has indirect payback to our communities dealing with homeless encampments and public safety issues. Aside from the good it might do for veterans, it will also be good for us. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do."
- The McClatchy Company, owner of The Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee: "Sheltering and caring for homeless vets has indirect payback to our communities dealing with homeless encampments and public safety issues. And it directly benefits our societal psyche because it is the right thing to do."
- Palm Springs Desert Sun: "Proposition 41 will be a powerful tool to help many veterans. Voting for it can be your way of saying thank you for their service."
- San Diego City Beat: "We can't think of a reason not to support this one. Vote Yes on Prop. 41."
- San Diego Union-Tribune: "But what about when they come home after their service? Many need help. They battle unemployment, traumatic stress and homelessness. Californians will have a chance to offer that help by approving Proposition 41 on the June 3 ballot."
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: "This would cost Californians $50 million a year, which, as proponents remind us, is one-tenth of 1 percent of the state budget. Why let hundreds of millions of dollars languish unused? We need to reprioritize this money to make good on our unfulfilled promises to homeless veterans."
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Proposition 41 would address the problem by expanding the types of veterans housing that would be eligible for the bond program."
- San Mateo Daily Journal: "Proposition 41 is a common-sense approach to housing our veterans and to provide revenue for local governments looking to provide a basic service to those who need it."
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat: "A cold winter this year focused the public on the plight of the homeless. In listening to service agencies, we heard that the biggest need is affordable housing. Proposition 41 is an opportunity to begin addressing the need. The Press Democrat recommends a yes vote."
- Woodland Daily Democrat: "The recent scandal swirling around our nation's VA hospitals only confirms the need for Prop. 41, which would ensure that California veterans most in need of help actually get it."
- Orange County Register: "Addressing the issue of roughly 19,000 homeless veterans in California is a serious matter, but Proposition 41 is not the answer. If the Cal-Vet program is failing, it is best to cut our losses and save taxpayers’ money."
Reports and analyses
Economic Roundtable, underwritten by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, published a report titled “Where We Sleep: Costs when Homeless and Housed in Los Angeles” in 2009. Economic Roundtable examined the public costs associated with people in supportive housing versus similar people that are homeless. They concluded that the approximate public cost for someone in supportive housing is a monthly $605. The public costs for homeless persons is a monthly $2,897 or five-times greater than those in supportive housing. However, the public costs for homeless persons ranged from $406 to $5,038 depending on age, physical and mental health and employment history. The report stated: "This remarkable finding shows that practical, tangible public benefits result from providing supportive housing for vulnerable homeless individuals. The stabilizing effect of housing plus supportive care is demonstrated by a 79 percent reduction in public costs for these residents."
The study illustrated the demographics of the county's homeless population who received public assistance in 2007:
- About 92% speak English vs. 82% of the county
- About 71% are men vs. 50% of the county
- About 52% are African-American vs. 9% of the county
- About 37% have a documented disability vs. 10% of the county
- About 10% worked in the past year vs. 84% of the county
- About 3% were born in Mexico or Central America vs. 28% of the county
- About 27% are veterans vs. 4% of the county
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued an “Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress” in 2013.
They found the following about homelessness in California in 2013:
- About 22% of the nation’s homeless population lived in California in 2013. The next closest state was New York at 13%.
- California was one of six states in which more homeless people were living in unsheltered locations than shelters.
- California saw a decline in the homeless population between 2007 and 2013, with 22,906 fewer homeless people in 2013 than 2007. However, between 2012 and 2013, the number increased by 5,928.
- Los Angeles, California had the highest population of chronically homeless people in the country. In Los Angeles, 14,840 people were chronically homeless in 2013 versus 4,328 in New York.
The department found the following about homeless veterans in California in 2013:
- California had the highest number of homeless veterans. Approximately 15,179 veterans were homeless on any given night.
- California was one of seven states in which more homeless veterans were living in unsheltered locations than shelters. About 68% were unsheltered in 2013.
- California saw a decline in homeless veterans between 2007 and 2013, with 1,282 fewer homeless veterans in 2013 than 2007. Between 2012 and 2013, the number decreased by 841.
- The top five major cities with the highest rate of unsheltered veterans were all located in California. San Jose was 81% in 2013. Los Angeles was 77%. Fresno was 76%. Oakland was 72%. San Francisco, at number five, was 59%.
Path to the ballot
A KPBS San Diego Public Radio & TV clip on Gov. Brown's signing of the bill which created Proposition 41.
- See also: Authorizing bonds in California
As mandated by Section 1 of Article XVI of the California Constitution, the California Legislature was required to pass the bond act by a two-thirds vote of all the members in both legislative chambers. The measure was unanimously approved in both chambers.
The timeline for the enactment of Assembly Bill #639 was:
- February 20, 2013: Introduced into the California State Assembly
- May 29, 2013: Adopted in California State Assembly
- September 10, 2013: Adopted, with added amendments, in California State Senate
- September 11, 2013: Adopted, with senate amendments, in California State Assembly
- October 10, 2013: Approved by California Governor
- October 10, 2013: Filed with California Secretary of State
September 10, 2013 Senate vote
|California AB 639 Senate Vote|
September 11, 2013 Assembly vote
|California AB 639 Assembly Vote|
- Official Voter Information Guide for June 3, 2014 Statewide Primary Election
- League of Women Voters of California Pros & Cons page for Prop. 41
- KQED's California Election Watch: 2014 Proposition Guide
- MapLight's Voter Edge 2014 Voter Information Guide
- California Choices' Guide to 2014 Ballot Measures
- KCET Cheat Sheet: Prop 41
- California Statewide Direct Primary Election Guide, "Text of Proposed Law," accessed May 7, 2014
- California Statewide Direct Primary Election Guide, "Official Title and Summary," accessed May 7, 2014
- California League of Women Voters, "Proposition 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014," accessed May 14, 2014
- Yes on Prop 41
- ABC 10 News, "Gov. Jerry Brown signs Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act in San Diego," October 10, 2013
- Yes on Prop 41, "Endorsements," accessed March 10, 2014
- Sierra Sun Times, "League of California Cities Board Votes to Support Prop 41 Initiative to Help Fund Multi-Family Housing for Veterans," May 5, 2014
- Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, "Support Proposition 41, the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014," February 13, 2014
- California Labor Federation, "June 2014 Primary Endorsements," accessed April 22, 2014
- California Statewide Direct Primary Election Guide, "Arguments and Rebuttals, accessed May 7, 2014
- League of Women Voters of California, "Veterans Housing And Homeless Prevention Bond Act Of 2014," accessed May 1, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "California to vote on veterans housing program, public access funding," May 25, 2014
- California Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance: Coalition for Veterans Housing," accessed June 3, 2014
- KCRA, "Prop 41 promises more money for homeless vets," May 7, 2014
- California Green Party, "Why the Green Party Opposes Proposition 41", June 1, 2014
- Legal Insurrection, "California Tea Party Group’s Picks for June 3rd Election," June 2, 2014
- Humboldt Republic Women, "Prop 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014," May 18, 2014
- The Bakersfield Californian, "Help veterans by voting yes on Prop. 41," May 7, 2014
- Chico Enterprise-Record, "Editorial: Vote yes on Propositions 41, 42," May 22, 2014
- Hanford Sentinel, "Our View: Yes on Propositions 41 and 42," May 10, 2014
- Lompoc Record, "Prop. 41: Helping veterans," May 2, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "A housing fix for California veterans," September 15, 2013
- Los Angeles Daily News, "A billion in unspent aid isn’t helping homeless vets: Editorial," September 24, 2013
- Marin Independent Journal, "Editorial: Marin IJ recommends passage of Props. 41 and 42," May 25, 2014
- Merced Sun-Star, "Our View: Prop. 41 provides shelter, services to homeless veterans," April 1, 2014
- The Sacramento Bee, "Editorial: Proposition 41 provides shelter and services to California’s homeless veterans," March 31, 2014
- Fresno Bee, "EDITORIAL: Prop. 41 provides shelter to homeless veterans," March 31, 2014
- The Desert Sun, "Our Voice: A vote for veterans," May 18, 2014
- San Diego City Beat, "Our June 3 primary-election endorsements," May 7, 2014
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "Yes on Prop. 41 for veterans housing," April 14, 2014
- San Francisco Bay Guardian, "Guardian endorsements," April 29, 2014
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Vote yes on Prop. 41, housing for veterans," May 12, 2014
- San Mateo Daily Journal, "Editorial: Yes on Proposition 41," May 16, 2014
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "PD Editorial: Yes on 41: Housing for homeless vets," April 12, 2014
- Woodland Daily Democrat, "Yes vote on Prop. 41 is a way to thank those who serve," May 27, 2014
- Orange County Register, "Editorial: No on Prop. 41," May 27, 2014
- Economic Roundtable, "Where We Sleep: Costs when Homeless and Housed in Los Angeles," accessed May 3, 2014
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development, "The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress," accessed May 7, 2014
- California Legislature, "AB-639 Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014," accessed May 28, 2014