Looking back at BAHFA in 2020

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One of the great success stories of 2020 has been the creation and activation of the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, or BAHFA. Through hard work, engagement, and collaboration with partners throughout the region, we passed AB 1487 (2019) which created an agency to facilitate a regional housing infrastructure that was until recently unheard of.

This new, regional body will have the power to fundraise from the state, local, and federal sources and from the private sector to produce more affordable housing across the Bay Area. We want to take a moment to thank MTC and ABAG for their hard work and leadership in 2020 to get us to this point.

With BAHFA activated, the Bay Area will now look to 2021 to set up the governance, staffing, and functional infrastructure to receive funds to address the housing crisis, funds that are needed like never before.

From supporting the response to COVID-19, to creating a Regional Housing Portal, there are many critical functions and programs that BAHFA will now be able to serve, once funding starts coming in. Examples include:

  • Supporting COVID response: provide technical assistance to jurisdictions who are trying to figure out how to use the new federal dollars coming to their jurisdictions and protect tenants and homeowners facing economic difficulties because of the crisis;
  • Creating a Regional Housing Portal: a coordinated, “one-stop” effort to help housing seekers across the region find and apply for affordable housing;
  • Marshaling resources for acquisition and rehab preservation to prevent a repeat of The Great Recession: this will position the region to leverage the changes in the housing market as an opportunity to invest in our communities, rather than repeating the harms of 2008;
  • Securing public and/or private funding to be a direct lender/underwriter of affordable housing production and preservation: this could be especially beneficial to jurisdictions who were short-staffed before this crisis and are now even more stretched for capacity.

In this moment of crisis for so many of our neighbors, this is a victory worth celebrating.

Thank you for your support. Stay tuned for more ways to advocate for housing for all in the Bay Area. Please email NPH Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement JR Starrett at JR@nonprofithousing.org for more info on how to get involved.