A coalition of labor unions and organizations focusing on homelessness, tenants’ rights, workers’ rights and affordable housing will announce a ballot measure initiative Thursday to create a tax on multi-million dollar property sales to fund solutions to the homelessness crisis, including permanent housing.
The coalition will begin collecting signatures in January and hopes to get about 65,000 signatures by April to qualify for the November 2022 general election.
If approved by a majority of voters, the measure would create a 4% tax on properties that sold for more than $5 million, and a 5.5% tax on properties that sold for more than $10 million.
“This ballot measure really responds to the need and it’s going to address the housing crisis at scale,” said ACT-LA Director Laura Raymond. “It will provide immediate support to people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness in the form of rental assistance and permanent housing.”
She said it would also invest in affordable and permanent housing, as well as oversight of how the tax dollars are spent, including through a dedicated inspector general. Raymond said it would provide “the strongest citizens oversight and accountability protections in the history of Los Angeles.”
The group said that the tax would have generated about $800 million in a single year, between March 2019 and March 2020, by taxing only 3% of real estate sales that year.
The coalition anticipates the measure would create more than 26,000 homes for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, in turn helping about 69,000 people over the next 10 years.
The group also said the investment in homelessness prevention could help more than 475,000 at-risk renters stay in their home each year.
The 29-organization coalition includes Leaders from the Alliance for Community Transit-LA (ACT-LA), the Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, Move LA, the NoHo Home Alliance, Renters’ Right to Counsel, and the Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH).
Representatives from those organizations will speak in Baldwin Hills on Thursday to launch the ballot measure campaign. Paperwork for the initiative will also be filed on Thursday with the Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office.