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Proposition 2: Supportive housing

Summary: Proposition 2 diverts $2 billion from California’s Mental Health Services Act toward constructing approximate 20,000 units of supportive housing for people with severe mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homeless. There are over 134,000 people living on the street in California and as many as a third have an untreated mental illness.

Public debate:

  • For: A broad coalition of doctors, homeless and mental health advocates and public safety officials part of Affordable Housing Now (Yes on Prop 2) have campaigned for the proposition. They argue that supporting mentally ill homeless Californians begins with a coordinated housing program. Providing this vulnerable group with a roof over their heads should make it easier to treat mental illnesses and substance addiction.
  • Against: Among the few critics of Prop 2 is Contra Costa County’s National Alliance on Mental Illness. They disapprove of the state using tax revenues from a 2004 bond measure for a housing project, since the original measure directed funds exclusively to treatment programs for the severely mentally ill.

Party support: California Democrats recommends a vote Yes on Prop 2. California GOP also recommends a vote Yes on Prop 2.

Campus opinions:

Stanford Democrats supports Prop 2 because they believe it would prevent homelessness by “stabiliz[ing] the living situations of some of the most vulnerable Californians.”

Stanford College Republicans opposes Prop 2, stating “it effectively redirects the county surtaxes already reserved for housing for the mentally ill to debt service.”

Stanford Coalition for Planning an Equitable 2035 (SCoPE 2035) has not made any endorsement in the statewide campaigns, but Nissen said that the group has worked closely with the advocacy group Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo Country, which supports Prop 1.