SAN ANTONIO — A majority of San Antonio voters approved the monumental $1.2 billion bond over the weekend, which has affordable housing advocates encouraged about the future of addressing poverty and homelessness.
The affordable housing initiative received the least support compared to the other city propositions, according to the Bexar County Elections Department.
Results indicate 60% voted in favor of the affordable housing funding whereas funding for drainage and flood control garnered 72% approval from San Antonians.
The bond included $150 million for various affordable housing projects. Permanent supportive housing for those struggling to stay off the streets is among the main priorities for the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH).
“We’re of course especially excited about the permanent supportive housing funding that’s available now that we can use to develop units with services on site to help move people off of the street,” said SARAH Executive Director Katie Vela.
More than 600 people living with some type of longterm disability are on a waiting list for permanent supportive housing, Vela noted.
But where, when and how much of this housing model will be built remains to be seen.
“So it could be a mixture of rehabbing current apartments or hotels, it could be developing new units. We also have Towne Twin Village, which is a series of tiny homes and travel trailers for older adults moving out of homelessness,” Vela said.
Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM) is one of several non-profit organizations in San Antonio likely to benefit from the affordable housing bond.
“We always call ourselves the emergency room of social service,” said CAM President and CEO Dawn White-Fosdick. “We might help them get an ID. We work with the non-profits that actually can provide the housing and so we work really hard to build these relationships and trust with the clients in order to help them access a better life, to choose to get off the street.”
The San Antonio City Council, Housing Commission and Community Development and Planning Committee are now tasked with submitting requests for proposals for competitive housing projects while levying the bond funds with other financial resources.