Housing. Housing. Housing. Whether it was “we need more” or “we need less”, housing dominated the narrative of the November 6, 2018 election in Santa Clara County. From local Measure V in San Jose to statewide-ballot propositions 1, 2, 5 and 10, housing, specifically affordable housing, was front and center.
The defeat of Proposition 10 (the repeal of Costa Hawkins – a law that currently protects new, multi-family construction post 1995 and duplexes/single family homes from being subject to rent control ordinances) was a sound lashing by voters for trying to place the burden of more affordable housing on the backs of those already providing it. However, the rent control battle is going to be raging on in many local jurisdictions for years to come.
Proposition 5 (the C.A.R. sponsored Tax Fairness Initiative designed to allow those aged 55 or older, victims of disasters – such as the Camp Fire – and veterans the ability to move their prop 13 tax basis to a new property in any county in California) failed to gather the required simple majority of votes. However, prop. 5 did manage to secure a victory in Orange County and garnered 40.3% of the affirmative vote in Santa Clara County.
A major victory for smart-housing solutions in Santa Clara County was the success of Supervisor-Elect Susan Ellenberg in District 4. The defeat of her opponent, Don Rocha, was of paramount concern as Rocha has often been the catalyst seeking expansion of the rent stabilization program in San Jose.
In the local candidate races, housing was still front and center in the conversation, the results however, varied widely. In Milpitas for example, incumbents were entirely ousted for a council that is now going to be extremely progressive – and friendly toward rent control (stabilization). In South County, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy both had SCCAOR supportive and SCCAOR endorsed candidate victories, including Marie Blankley and Peter Leroe-Munoz in Gilroy.
In San Jose District 9 Councilmember-Elect, Pam Foley, is holding on to her lead against her opponent with 98% of the vote counted. As a past president of our association and REALTOR® Champion, Pam will be another strong voice for REALTOR® Party issues that come before that council. However, in District 7, Councilmember-Elect, Maya Esparza, ousted incumbent-councilmember, Tam Nguyen, making for a surprise outcome that could possibly keep San Jose City Council friendly toward further expansion of their rent stabilization program.
All in all, while housing was the main topic of conversation, solutions were in short supply. It will be up to the many excellent candidates who were elected to continue the work developing solutions to our region’s housing issues – and up to our REALTOR® family to continue advocating for the rights of homeowners and homeownership.
Thank you to all our members who voted on November 6th, your vote mattered and it made a difference for the REALTOR® Party.
***PLEASE CONSIDER CONTRIBUTING to the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) as part of your SCCAOR membership renewal. RAF enables our advocacy team to assist candidates like Pam Foley, Marie Blankley, and Susan Ellenberg. Click here make a contribution to RAF today!***