(San Francisco Bay Area) Amid critical national conversations around how to respond to and recover from COVID-19 and address racial justice, Bay Area affordable housing advocacy organization the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) has just released its latest paper examining the local intersection of housing justice, racial justice, and public health and offering concrete recommendations on how to embed a regional housing strategy ahead.
As Bay Area communities confront the COVID-19 global pandemic, an economic downtown that rivals that of The Great Depression, and recent cases of police brutality, murder, and racial profiling directed at low-income communities of color, especially our Black and Brown neighbors, the region’s housing crisis has been exacerbated and disparities exposed.
Yet despite these circumstances, the Bay Area can leverage certain policy tools to provide relief to our communities now. NPH’s latest report, The Road Ahead: A 21st Century Housing Strategy for the San Francisco Bay Area, highlights how two regional agencies — MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) and ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) — have the means and ability to lead the Bay Area region on a trajectory of recovery and prosperity.
The report lays out specific steps that MTC/ABAG can develop and implement through a comprehensive “housing first” strategy for the Bay Area that embraces the “3Ps framework” for housing justice: Protection, Preservation, and Production. This holistic approach to the region’s housing crisis ensures that no one is left behind, including our seniors, families with young children, low-wage workers, and people of color, who remain disproportionately impacted due to a legacy of racist housing policies that continue to shut them out from opportunities.
At the NPH 41st Annual Affordable Housing Conference held virtually just last month, a keynote plenary invited the 1,000 person crowd of advocates and affordable housing industry members to imagine a more racially just, equitable, and liberated future. With this report, NPH offers clear recommendations on how to bring that future forward.
Specifically, the report highlights key opportunities and policy recommendations that MTC and ABAG are considering and exploring right now, including the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), the region’s 8-year housing growth plan, the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), newly established by Assemblymember David Chiu’s AB 1487; Plan Bay Area 2050, the long-range plan for addressing the Bay Area’s economy, environment, housing, and transportation; and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) policy, which seeks to better support the production of affordable housing; and the prospect of likely future regional housing and transportation funding measures.
The report also cites the growing support by Bay Area voters for action on this issue. Recent polling by EMC Research (commissioned by NPH) indicated that 79% of Bay Area voters surveyed identify affordable housing as a funding priority for the region, and nearly three-quarters (74%) would additionally support a regional approach to housing in the Bay Area. Alarmingly, over half (52%) are also concerned about their own ability to find a safe, stable and affordable home.
Media Contact: Alina Harway, firstname.lastname@example.org