Bay Area Transit Oriented Affordable Housing

As the Bay Area housing crisis persists, innovative approaches and tools are needed to achieve a prosperous and competitive economy while preserving vibrant, sustainable communities connected by an efficient and well-maintained transportation network.

The Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) Fund has relaunched as a new $40 million initiative to promote equitable transit-oriented development across the nine-county Bay Area. The initiative provides financing for the development of affordable housing, community services, fresh food markets and other neighborhood assets near transit lines throughout the Bay Area.

The fund is sponsored by the Great Communities Collaborative and seeded with a $10 million investment from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. TOAH loans will be originated by a consortium of five community development financial institutions: the Low Income Investment Fund, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Community Vision (formerly Northern California Community Loan Fund). Originally launched in 2011, the TOAH partners have revised the initiative to better meet the Bay Area’s current and future housing needs.

High housing costs put significant burden on families, with 31% of the Bay Area’s households paying more than 35% of income on housing in 2015. Supporting mixed-use developments that incorporate affordable housing and are located in close proximity to high-quality public transit can be a meaningful strategy to help working families save money and connect to job centers. In addition, development that intentionally incorporates equity and sustainability into planning can help the region address persistent challenges such as racial and economic disparities and climate change. In a high-priced, highly competitive market like the Bay Area, it is critical for community developers to have access to capital that enables them to compete with the private sector. The new version of the TOAH Fund provides more nimble and flexible products and a streamlined underwriting process to help accelerate equitable transit-oriented development projects.