Ballot 6A passes to fund affordable housing
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest vote count released Wednesday afternoon.
Voters in the Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership have passed Ballot Issue 6A. The ballot initiative currently has 2,157 yes votes over 1,953 votes against, with 3,810 votes cast, as of the latest results posted at 6:19 a.m. Wednesday.
The initiative asked voters within the partnership’s boundaries if they would vote to approve a property tax increase to provide a dedicated funding source for the partnership to plan, develop, finance and maintain affordable housing for year-round residents in the Fraser River Valley. Property taxes will be increased by 2.00 mills (or approximately $67.68 per year on a property valued at $500,000), the partnership is expected to be able to generate $1.2 million a year from the funds.
When reached for comment as the election results came in, Debra Brynoff, the partnership’s board president, expressed thanks to the continued efforts from the community to support the affordable housing.
“The Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership is very grateful to the community for supporting the Housing Partnership’s efforts to address our local housing crises through ballot measure 6A and is incredibly proud of how the community has come together to work collaboratively,” said Brynoff.
The Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership was formed in April to “prioritize and focus its resources on creating housing units on the ground for year-round residents,” according to its website.
“We are especially grateful that the community was willing to extend public trust to a new organization that can provide a strong foundation for a valley-wide housing program,” said Brynoff.
The partnership plans to create affordable housing through public-private partnerships and issuing construction bonds, rather than supplementing the down-payment and financial assistance programs already available to residents in the area.
The partnership’s leadership has said it needs to generate at least $1 million annually to make a meaningful impact on housing for year-round residents. The now-passed tax on residential and commercial property will provide them with a reliable dedicated funding source, which also can be “leveraged” to issue bonds to pay for the construction of housing units.
“Now the hard work begins. In the coming months, the housing partnership will continue efforts to build its organizational capacity and work with the sense of urgency required by the current housing crisis,” Brynoff said. “Thanks to the community, our efforts can begin immediately.”
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