Federal Grant Encourages Denser Development in San Francisco

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A model affordable housing development in San Francisco (image courtesy of MTC)

Building and preserving affordable housing near public transit hubs in the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the areas of focus of a $4.99 million federal grant awarded Monday to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

The “Sustainable Communities” regional planning grant, awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), fosters regional planning that integrates transportation, housing, job development, land-use and infrastructure development.

In addition to affordable housing, the grant will support job development for low- to middle-income residents in the communities in which they live. Because housing prices are so high, many low- to middle-income workers can’t afford to live in the communities where they work, and long daily commutes on congested freeways are a way of life. Of the more than 7 million people living in the Bay Area, only 9.7% currently get to work on public transportation.

"Our nation's ability to compete in a global economy and create jobs is dependent upon how quickly and efficiently we can connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities." said HUD Secretary Donovan.

Increasing access to public transportation and reducing the need for long commutes is also part of a strategy to reduce emissions and air pollution in the Bay Area.

The “Sustainable Communities” grant will be matched with $2.383 million in funds from local agencies in the nine-county region.