The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) was created in 2019 by the state Legislature to support the production and preservation of affordable housing. BAHFA is comprised of the 21 members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) will share decision-making, including financial responsibilities such as bond issuance.
BAHFA was established by Assembly Bill 1487, the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Housing Finance Act. Authored by Assemblymember David Chiu of San Francisco, the bill authorizes BAHFA — in consultation with ABAG — to place new revenue options on the ballot to support regional coordination of affordable housing production and preservation.
A Regional Funding Source for Housing
The Bay Area’s 101 cities and nine counties have limited resources and capacity to solve the region’s housing affordability crisis on their own. While MTC and ABAG have provided planning and policy tools to address the crisis, more money is needed to boost construction and to preserve existing affordable housing at a regional scale.
Tax Revenue Options
Any new revenue source to be placed on the ballot will require voter approval by a two-thirds vote. 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)
How can the Funds Be Used?
AB 1487 invests funds across the “3Ps” 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)
- Tenant protection
- A grant program for cities and counties that supports housing and related uses. These may include transportation, schools and parks; homeless shelters and homelessness prevention programs; programs to support home-ownership for low- or moderate-income households; and additional tenant protection efforts
To streamline legislative activities, the MTC (acting as BAHFA) and ABAG will share decision-making, including financial responsibilities such as bond issuance.
AB 1487 requires BAHFA and ABAG to form a nine-member public advisory committee to provide input on funding guidelines and overall program implementation. The Interim Advisory Committee Members are:
For more information, contact Daniel Saver, Assistant Director, Housing and Local Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org.