For Immediate Release
Contact Rebecca M. (Becky) Sullivan
(w) 202-429-6990, ext. 206
March 23, 2011
RECONNECTING AMERICA LAUDS METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION FUNDING FOR
TRANSIT-ORIENTED AFFORDABLE HOUSING
(March 23, 2011) Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the San Francisco Bay Area – officially committed $10 million to the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH Fund). MTC’s critical commitment to play the top-loss role in the fund has been instrumental in raising the additional capital. The fund will launch at the end of March with MTC’s $10 million matched by $40 million in foundation and private funding.
“Without MTC’s initial investment, it is unlikely this would have been possible at all, let alone so quickly,” said Reconnecting America’s Chief of Staff Allison Brooks. “Reconnecting America is delighted that this fund has become a reality, and will result in lasting, sustainable affordable housing for working families in one of the nation’s hottest housing markets.”
Brooks sits on the advisory board of the fund, which helped to select the fund manager and set the policy parameters and goals for the fund.
The Bay Area transit-oriented development fund is a revolving fund that will provide loans for both property acquisition and predevelopment costs for affordable housing in transit nodes throughout the region. The goal is to provide affordable capital to allow housing developers to secure and/or develop properties near transit for new development or conversion to affordable housing. Loans will target MTC’s Priority Development Areas with good transit access to regional employment centers.
The TOAH Fund has been catalyzed by the Great Communities Collaborative and the MTC, and is being managed by a consortium of six community development finance institutions (CDFI) led by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and comprised of the Enterprise Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Opportunity Fund, Northern California Community Loan Fund and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) have worked for a number of years to help set the stage for this momentous event.
The fund grew from an effort to help create a financial resource that could be utilized to ensure that transit-oriented communities are enriched with adequate levels of housing affordable to a diversity of incomes in the San Francisco Bay Area. To that end, the Great Communities Collaborative, of which Reconnecting America is a founding member, commissioned the Center for Transit-Oriented Development and the Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to conduct an initial feasibility study for a type of structured fund that would be targeted to acquiring properties near quality transit for the purposes of building and preserving affordable housing, mixed-use development and other critical communities amenities. ( Download the report )
That report and subsequent work by CTOD staff and members of the Great Communities Collaborative set the stage for the largest commitment of a metropolitan planning organization to a fund of this kind.
The role of foundations to fund such an effort was described by Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development in a report exploring the role community development finance institutions could play in promoting equitable transit-oriented development. (Download the report)
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Reconnecting America is a national nonprofit that is helping to transform promising ideas into thriving communities – where transportation choices make it easy to get from place to place, where businesses flourish, and where people from all walks of life can afford to live, work and visit. Reconnecting America is the managing partner of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, the only national nonprofit effort funded by Congress to promote best practices in transit-oriented development. Reconnecting America is also a founding partner of Transportation for America, a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. For more information visit our website, www.reconnectingamerica.org