2023 Milestones Highlight BAHFA’s Work to Ease Housing Crisis
MTC's affiliate, the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, this year reached several important milestones as it accelerated its efforts to deliver lasting solutions to the Bay Area’s longstanding housing affordability problems. Among BAHFA’s successes in 2023:
In November, BAHFA launched its first loan program to promote the construction of affordable housing on properties nominated by local governments and developers across all nine Bay Area counties as “Priority Sites.” These Priority Sites will provide affordable homes in locations close to transit, essential services and green space. BAHFA’s new $28 million loan program, to which developers can apply through an online portal, will provide low-interest loans to buy land for affordable housing; build affordable housing; complete necessary infrastructure; and/or cover predevelopment costs such as architectural and engineering services, entitlement and permitting fees, legal expenses or environmental reviews. Borrowers able to start construction within 24 months may seek loans of up to $5 million.
BAHFA launched its first homelessness prevention program in November with an award of $5 million to Napa County to administer a pilot program focused on extremely low-income seniors. The pilot will support rent-burdened Napa County seniors who are disabled and/or living on fixed incomes by subsidizing rent for up to 48 months while helping them secure other long-term housing. BAHFA hopes lessons learned from the pilot can be applied to similar programs across the Bay Area and for future BAHFA initiatives.
More than 550 people attended two summer public workshops hosted by BAHFA to provide information on strategies to work toward meeting the Bay Area’s housing needs. Central to BAHFA’s work is new funding for the production and preservation of affordable housing. Among the options is a bond measure that would be placed on the 2024 ballot in all nine Bay Area counties. BAHFA, a first-of-its-kind regional authority created to address the Bay Area’s chronic housing challenges, held the workshops as part of its public information effort around the potential bond, which could bring $10 billion to $20 billion to the nine-county Bay Area.
BAHFA collaborated with New York City-based Jonathan Rose Cos. and its nonprofit partner, Pacific Housing, to keep San Jose's The Grove apartments affordable by utilizing the Welfare Tax Exemption Preservation Program. Jonathan Rose closed the 331-unit building purchase in November and will commence on an $11 million renovation effort to keep the homes in quality shape. With BAHFA’s assistance, and as part of Jonathan Rose’s mission, all apartments will be permanently deed-restricted as affordable housing.
BAHFA received a Housing Heroes Award from the Housing Action Coalition in October in honor of the initiative’s innovative set of funding and finance tools— including the ability to place a Bay Area-wide ballot measure before voters to raise funds for housing. BAHFA shared the stage with the Bay Area Housing For All (BAHA) Coalition, which was recognized for its work to educate voters and stakeholders on the bond measure.
BAHFA Featured on Housing Podcast Bay Area Housing Finance Authority Director, Kate Hartley, was featured in September on the podcast "Housing After Dark Episode 5: Is the Future of Housing Finance Regional?" During the podcast, Hartley talks about the history and future of the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority.