MTC Commissioners Approve Plan to Link Housing to Transportation Funds

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On Wednesday, October 25th, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to take an innovative approach to our region’s housing and transportation solutions. Commissioners made a commitment to link transportation funding to housing, including dedicating new funds for cities building the most affordable housing by 2020 and agreeing to study all transportation funding sources MTC manages as an opportunity to incentivize better affordable housing outcomes.

“Wednesday’s vote demonstrates that the MTC Commission is serious about taking bold action to address the Bay Area’s housing crisis with every tool at its disposal,” said Amie Fishman, NPH Executive Director.

Commissioners approved dedicating $46 million of transportation funds to reward the top 15 cities that build the most affordable homes in the Bay Area by 2020. The Commission also agreed to study ways that all transportation funding sources under its management — representing billions of investments — could incentivize cities and counties to take innovative approaches to addressing the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

The approved resolution also requires MTC to track the status of local implementation of four state housing laws and encourage the construction of “granny units” and promote the construction of more affordable units by requiring appropriate zoning at the right densities for housing sites. These bold initiatives will incentivize cities and counties in the region to take meaningful action locally to address the housing crisis as well as provide crucial data for future advocacy efforts.

“By rewarding cities and counties for building more homes and committing to study every transportation funding source to further incentivize cities to build and preserve affordable homes, MTC is helping the Bay Area become a national leader in innovative solutions to the housing crisis,” said Pedro Galvao, NPH Regional Planning and Policy Manager.

NPH worked closely with the Six Wins for Social Equity Network and Greenbelt Alliance to ensure follow-through on the commitment MTC made in the Plan Bay Area 2040 Action Plan to study transportation funding sources to incentivize better affordable housing outcomes. This Action Plan, which NPH and allies had successfully pushed to be included in Plan Bay Area, established a series of near-term actions that MTC and ABAG will take to address the Bay Area’s twin crises of housing affordability and displacement.

NPH is grateful to the Commission for taking this bold step forward and gives special thanks to Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Commissioner Nick Josefowitz of San Francisco for working with their colleagues to put forward this meaningful proposal. NPH will continue to work directly with the Commission and its allies to ensure that there is follow through on these and other commitments to make the Bay Area a more affordable place to live.