Proposition A passes, allowing San Antonio to fund affordable housing with bond money

Prop A will grant more flexibility to city leaders in spending voter-approved bond funding

Proposition A has passed with more than 58% of the vote. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: Find news, resources and results from the May 1 election on our Vote 2021 page. At 7 p.m., Saturday, May 1, find all the latest results and livestreamed analysis on KSAT.com.

Update 9:52 p.m. - A majority of San Antonio voters have approved Proposition A, which will expand the ways San Antonio can use bond money.

Roughly 58% of the voters voted in favor of Proposition A, while 41% voted against it.

Currently, the city charter language restricts bond dollars to “public works,” limiting how the money can be used.

Under Proposition A, that language would be expanded to include “any other public purpose not prohibited by the Texas Constitution,” putting San Antonio in line with every other major Texas city.

With the voters’ approval of the charter amendment, housing affordability projects could be in included in the upcoming 2022-2027 bond program.

BACKGROUND

As San Antonio continues to struggle with the need for affordable housing, proponents of Proposition A say it could help the city address the issue, if it is approved by the voters May 1.

Currently, the city charter language restricts bond dollars to “public works,” limiting how the money can be used.

Under Proposition A, that language would be expanded to include “any other public purpose not prohibited by the Texas Constitution,” putting San Antonio in line with every other major Texas city.

Should voters approve the charter amendment, housing affordability projects could be in included in the upcoming 2022-2027 bond program.

Some critical council members previously voiced concerns that the change might allow too much flexibility.

District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, the lone vote against sending the proposal to the voters, said the language of the amendment was “too broad.”

District 9 Councilman John Courage used the phrase “Pandora’s Box” in describing potential consequences, but ultimately voted to send the amendment to voters, saying that he trusts them to make the best decision.

I have a philosophical difference on what our bond money should be going to,” said Perry, who worried that expanding project possibilities would mean siphoning money away from infrastructure projects.

But affordable housing has continued to be an issue in the Alamo City, where mixed-income developments haven’t fully addressed the issues plaguing families.

“Providing housing flexibility will be a significant step forward for our efforts to accommodate the needs of our community,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg previously said.

READ MORE ON OUR VOTE 2021 PAGE:

5 races to watch for May 1 election in San Antonio

Who’s running for mayor, city council in San Antonio? See the May 1, 2021 ballot in Bexar County

KSAT Explains: Proposition B in San Antonio


About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.