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Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Establish a “Right to Housing.”

The Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development within the California legislature recently passed a measure in a 6-2 vote that could establish a constitutional amendment to create a right to housing in the California state constitution.

The Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10 (ACA10) states it would “declare that the state recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. The measure would make it the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right, by all appropriate means, as specified.” (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10, Cal. Assemb.)

In order for the public to vote, it would need to pass the California Assembly and Senate with two-thirds of the vote. Currently, the ACA has sent the measure to a Senate committee.

Supporters of this measure include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), California Action and Abundant Housing LA. Many supporters feel it would influence cities and counties to provide more housing. 

The ACLU California Action said the measure would provide “some guardrails on localities and enforce when their actions are deviating or counter the right to housing.” 

Many opponents say that the measure is vague and does not directly state how it would obtain funding.

Matt Hanely (D) San Francisco proposed the current measure. Governor Newsom vetoed a similar bill in 2020 due to the potential cost.

According to the Daily Breeze, 30% of those experiencing homelessness in the U.S. live in California.

Although the chances of the amendment making the ballot are slim, if passed, California would be the first state in the country to pass such an amendment.

Links:

https://www.kcra.com/article/california-voters-could-decide-if-housing-is-a-human-right-under-new-proposal/43253491#  

https://www.dailybreeze.com/2023/06/08/should-california-residents-have-the-right-to-housing-that-might-be-up-to-voters-2/  

https://calmatters.org/housing/2023/06/right-to-housing-california-constitution/
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240ACA10

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