NPH won big victories for affordable housing yesterday as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted to amend the One Bay Area Grant, a $916 million regional transportation funding program.
Following sustained advocacy by NPH, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted on Wednesday to amend its successful One Bay Area Grant program (OBAG) to encourage more affordable housing production and to prevent displacement. The One Bay Area Grant program is a regional pool of transportation funding worth $916 million, with $386 million going directly to county congestion management agencies (or CMAs) who help fund local streets and roads for each of the nine Bay Area counties (e.g. the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority in San Francisco and the Alameda County Transportation Commission in Alameda County). Now, in order to be able to access the $386 million pot of transportation funding, each of the nine county CMAs will have to show that each city and the unincorporated county within their jurisdiction is compliant with the State’s Surplus Land Act – a major NPH priority. Amended in 2014, the State Surplus Land Act requires among other things, every city, county, and public agency to give first priority to affordable housing developers when selling or leasing surplus land. To demonstrate compliance, cities and counties will now need to adopt a resolution outlining how they will conform with State Law before local streets and roads money can be released.
OBAG funding is also being used to incentivize jurisdictions to permit more affordable housing and to encourage the adoption of anti-displacement policies. As part of OBAG, the MTC Commission voted to create the 80K by 2020 Challenge, a $30-million-dollar funding pool to reward additional transportation dollars to jurisdictions that permit the most deed-restricted housing affordable to low and very-low income families – another NPH initiative. The Commission also directed CMAs, when making funding allocations, to prioritize jurisdictions that have adopted effective anti-displacement policies – an effort led by the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network and supported by NPH.
These changes to OBAG will result in significantly more land being dedicated to affordable housing development, the construction of more units affordable to low- and very low-income families, and greater incentives for the Bay Area’s cities to address the displacement crisis.
NPH is especially grateful to MTC Commissioners Mayor Libby Schaaf (Oakland), Councilmember Amy Worth (Orinda), and Supervisor David Campos (San Francisco) for their leadership on these initiatives. NPH is also grateful to SV@Home, GreenBelt Alliance, and the 6 Wins Network for their advocacy to get these measures adopted.