Public Land Reuse

Throughout the Bay Area, public agencies own thousands of acres of vacant or under-utilized land. Transforming these sites could create 170,000 permanently affordable homes as well as essential services and parks.

A partnership between Contra Costa County, BART and the private sector, the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village transformed land owned by multiple public agencies into a cohesive neighborhood with shops, offices, public spaces and 2,700 homes within a 5-minute walk of the Pleasant Hill BART station.

Karl Nielsen

A Key Plan Bay Area 2050 Strategy

MTC is working with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and communities throughout the region to help solve the Bay Area's housing shortage and bring more affordable homes to the area. Public land reuse is one of the eight housing strategies identified in Plan Bay Area 2050 – the Bay Area’s long-range regional plan – to meet present and future housing needs.

Reuse of public lands would provide for 170,000 permanently affordable homes for low- and middle-income families, with homes in transit- and opportunity-rich communities. It would also ensure that the reuse of publicly-owned land benefits neighbors by creating community centers, clinics and other essential services.

Technical Assistance for Public Land Use

The Public Lands Playbook is designed to guide local governments and other public agencies through the process of inventorying, prioritizing and reusing publicly-owned land. The playbook focuses on mixed income and affordable housing, and includes implementation resources that can be tailored for local use.

Read the Public Lands Playbook.
Cover image from the Public Lands Playbook.

Webinar: "Leveraging Your Land – Best Practices for Reusing Public Land for Housing"

Watch the recording of the MTC/ABAG webinar, "Leveraging Your Land," to learn about best practices for leveraging public land to deliver housing and services. Staff will introduce the Public Lands Playbook and provide guidance on topics ranging from creating a public land framework to complying with the Surplus Land Act.

The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA)

BAHFA has the potential to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help address affordable housing — and housing stability — in the Bay Area.

Priority Development Areas (PDAs)

PDAs are located in downtowns, along main streets and around rail stations. They are identified for focused growth of communities.