Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) | What Is MTC? | About MTC

Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA)

The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) is a shared initiative of MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), in partnership with cities and counties, to step up efforts to address the Bay Area’s chronic housing affordability challenges. MTC and ABAG have committed to expanding the agencies’ regional housing portfolio and BAHFA represents a key financial pillar of these efforts.

A collage of images: families, a mid-rise city apartment building, and a single-family home under construction

What is BAHFA?

The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority was established by AB 1487 (2019, Chiu) and will offer a powerful new set of financing and policy tools to promote housing affordability and address the region’s housing crisis. MTC and ABAG policymakers collaborated closely during the legislative process to establish BAHFA, including its unique joint governance structure that requires a double green-light process to obtain policy and programming approvals from both the BAHFA Board (composed of the same board as MTC) and the ABAG Executive Board.

A part of the Bay Area’s expanded regional housing portfolio toolbox, BAHFA aims to develop a comprehensive regional strategy for helping local governments tackle the housing crisis on a larger scale by transcending city and county boundaries. The Bay Area’s nine counties and 101 cities and towns currently address most housing issues individually, and often with limited staff and financial resources. BAHFA will enable the close collaboration, coordination, regional thinking and decisive action necessary to address our housing challenges. This bird’s-eye-view of the crisis will enable development of strategies that preserve existing housing units, prevent displacement of current residents and promote the construction of new units.

Strategic “3Ps” Framework

BAHFA, and the expanded regional housing portfolio, is rooted in the “3Ps” framework that comprehensively addresses the housing crisis through a combination of production, preservation and protection. Specifically:

  • Production of rental housing for lower-income households (at or below 80% of the area median income or AMI)
  • Preservation of affordable housing for low-or moderate-income households (up to 120% of AMI)
  • Protecting tenants from displacement and preventing homelessness

One of the key features of BAHFA is its ability to raise significant new funding for the “3 Ps” through a regional revenue ballot measure.

ABAG Housing Committee

A new Housing Committee will supplement ABAG’s housing planning work, strengthen its leadership role on Bay Area housing issues and advise the Executive Board on a variety of housing programs and policies, including those to reduce homelessness. The ABAG Housing Committee will work closely with MTC and BAHFA as a part of the expanded regional housing portfolio.

BAHFA Staff Contact

For more information, contact Daniel Saver, Assistant Director, Housing and Local Planning at

BAHFA Mailing List

To stay up to date on the work of the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, please subscribe to the BAHFA mailing list. MTC and ABAG will send periodic email updates highlighting the work of BAHFA.

BAHFA approval cycle process

As outlined in BAHFA’s enabling legislation, the BAHFA Board (comprised of the same members as MTC) and ABAG will share decision-making related to raising revenue and expenditure of funds.

AB 1487 requires BAHFA to form a nine-member public advisory committee to provide input on funding guidelines and overall program implementation. The Interim Advisory Committee Members are:

Kate Hartley
Casey McCann
Jackie Morales-Ferrand
Tomiquia Moss
Seema Patel
Matthew Schwartz
Alice Talcott
Leelee Thomas
Benjamin Wickham

BAHFA is comprised of the 21 members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

BAHFA was created in 2019 by the state Legislature (AB 1487) to support the production and preservation of affordable housing by placing new revenue options on the ballot. (Due to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to not place a revenue measure on the November 2020 ballot.) Any new revenue source to be placed on the ballot would require voter approval by a two-thirds vote. Possible future options include:

  • General obligation bond backed by property tax receipts (also known as a GO bond)
  • Parcel tax
  • Gross receipts tax
  • Per-employee corporate “head tax”
  • Commercial linkage fee (only authorized after voters approve a GO bond or parcel tax)

As noted above, BAHFA shares decision-making with the ABAG Executive Board related to raising revenues or expenditure of funds.

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