BART Adopts Policy for New Affordable Housing

In the Bay Area, one of the smartest choices we can make is to transform some of the vast parking lots around our transit stations into thriving neighborhoods with homes for residents across the income spectrum. This helps tackle the housing affordability crisis, increases transit ridership, and cuts our bone-crunching traffic. It also reduces sprawl pressure, ensuring residents can afford to live near transit and jobs rather than being forced to search for housing at the edges of the region.

So we’re ecstatic to report that BART—one of the largest landowners of sites for potential transit-oriented development in the Bay Area—has just approved a policy to ensure that new development includes homes for residents across the income spectrum.

On January 28, the BART Board of Directors voted 6-3 to adopt a policy that requires that 20% of all new homes developed on BART land must be affordable to low-income households.

The new policy applies on a station-by-station basis, allowing flexibility to include affordable homes in a variety of configurations. And to encourage development that exceeds the 20% requirement, greater weight will be given to development proposals that include more affordable homes or deeper affordability.

The newly-adopted policy requires that 20% of all new homes developed on BART-owned land must be affordable to low-income households.

This victory comes after two years of concerted advocacy, led by East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) and TransForm. Greenbelt Alliance was proud to support this effort and is especially grateful to our volunteer Monica Van Luven for her testimony before the BART board members.

Thanks to all of the BART board and staff who supported this smart decision, and the many organizations who lent their time and energy to make it happen. Together, we’re making the Bay Area a better place to live for all!

 

Photo: via Flickr

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