Housing

An Overview of the 2018 Housing Policy Landscape in California

Housing Near Milpitas BART Station
Karl Nielsen

Last year was a very active year for housing legislation in California, with approval of a housing package that included new funding for affordable housing as well as some modest regulatory changes. It appears, however, this may have just been a warm-up act for 2018. Currently, there are nearly 20 different major housing bills under consideration by lawmakers in the state’s capitol. Outside organizations are also organizing to place various housing-related measures on the statewide ballot in November 2018.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of these various bills and initiatives and then segue into a discussion of key policy considerations for MTC and ABAG in light of regional goals, particularly those articulated in Plan Bay Area 2040, the nine-county Bay Area’s long-range transportation and land use plan jointly adopted by both agencies in July 2017.

Overview of Housing Bills and Ballot Initiatives

Staff has grouped these bills and initiatives into a few major categories: State Zoning Preemption and Housing Production; Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA); Fiscalization of Land Use/Property Taxes; and Rent Control, Tenant Protections and Anti-Displacement. Continue reading on for the bill summary and policy discussion. Read More

Meetings

3/15 Meeting Preview: ABAG Executive Board

BAMC entrance

ABAG’s Executive Board will meet this Thursday, March 15, starting at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Bay Area Metro Center.  The meeting will consist of reports from ABAG’s Administrative Committee, Legislation Committee, Finance Committee, and Regional Planning Committee.  View the agenda and download relevant attachments here, and continue reading on for a summary of major discussion and action items. Read More

Learn More About Electric Vehicles and Go For a Spin at Electrify America's "Discover and Drive Tour"

Electric Vehicle test drive
Noah Berger

Interested in Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV)? Ever wanted to take a Tesla Model S out for a spin? Bay Area residents will have a chance to learn more and go for a (free!) test drive through the rest of this week thanks to Electrify America's "Discover and Drive" tour.

This Tuesday through Thursday (3/13 – 3/15) at the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco, and from Friday to Sunday (3/16 – 3/18) at the Great Mall in Milpitas, Electrify America invites participants to discover more about EV ownership, incentives and chargers and drive EVs such as the Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf, Honda Clarity Electric and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

Event details including dates, times and location are provided below. Registration is required – RSVP here. Read More

Transportation

Pedestrian Fatalities Are Increasing Nationwide. Why?

Everyone Is A Pedestrian

A few weeks ago we highlighted how the Bay Area has experienced a recent sharp upward trend in fatalities and injuries from roadway crashes, and that bicyclists and pedestrians were bearing the brunt of these unwelcome developments. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests growing dangers for pedestrians are not just a Bay Area issue: in both relative and absolute terms, pedestrian deaths nationwide are at levels not seen in decades.

The report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities By State: 2017 Preliminary Data, contains a host of alarming findings about conditions for pedestrians across the country (emphasis added in bold):   

  • The nationwide number of pedestrian fatalities increased 27 percent from 2007 to 2016, while all other traffic fatalities over this period decreased by 14 percent.
  • Pedestrian deaths as a percent of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased steadily, from 11 percent in 2007 to 16 percent in 2016. Pedestrians now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities during the past 33 years.
Read More
Land Use

Senate Bill 35 Applicability Across the Bay Area

SB 35 (Wiener, 2017) Bay Area Regional Applicability
February's Map of the Month from MTC and ABAG Executive Director Steve Heminger looks at Bay Area jurisdictions subject to — or exempt from — Senate Bill 35 (Wiener, 2017) requirements to streamline the approval process for certain kinds of housing developments.
 
From the Executive Director's latest report to the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board:
A jurisdiction is subject to SB 35’s streamlining requirements if it has not made sufficient progress toward its Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) goals, or if it failed to submit its latest Housing Element Annual Progress Report.
Read More
Meetings

Preview of 3/9 Meeting: Operations, Joint MTC Planning and ABAG Administration, Joint MTC and ABAG Legislation, Joint MTC Commission and Policy Advisory Council

BAMC Board Room

Four meeting will be held on Friday, March 9, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Bay Area Metro Center, including the MTC Operations Committee, Joint MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative Committees, Joint MTC and ABAG Legislative Committees, and Joint MTC Commission and MTC Policy Advisory Council.

Major items for discussion include a proposed amendment to Plan Bay Area 2040 (Plan) and the Amended 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to revise the cost and scope of the U.S. 101 Managed Lanes Project in San Mateo County (see the staff presentation and memo); a summary of the 2018 housing landscape in Sacramento (see handout); and an overview of the Trump Administration’s proposed FY 2019 Federal Budget and the White House Infrastructure Initiative (see handout).

Continue reading for more details and tune in to the meetings live once they are underway here. Read More

Environment

San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority Gears Up for First Round of Projects, Invites Citizens to Apply to Oversight Committee

Whole Healthy Landscape

In June 2016, Bay Area voters approved a regional parcel tax measure to fund wetlands restoration for the San Francisco Bay. Measure AA, or the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure, was the first regional parcel tax measure in California’s history, and passed with 70 percent voter approval throughout the nine-county Bay area. The parcel tax is expected to generate $500 million in funds over the next 20 years for multi-benefit projects that restore habitat, protect shorelines from flooding, provide public access and recreation opportunities, and similar amenities.

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership, a program of ABAG, provides staff support to the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the regional agency created to allocate Measure AA funds.

Currently, the Estuary Partnership is assisting the Restoration Authority with selection of the first round of projects to receive funds; the selected projects will be announced in April. The Partnership and Authority invite interested members of the public to apply to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee; applications are due March 30. Read More

Meetings

Preview of 3/7 Meetings: BATA Oversight Committee, MTC Administration Committee, MTC Programming and Allocations Committee

The exterior entrance of the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco.
Noah Berger

Three committees will be meeting on Wednesday, March 7, at the Bay Area Metro Center, starting at 9:30 a.m. The BATA Oversight Committee and MTC Administration Committee meetings will be brief approvals of consent calendars and contract amendments. 

At the MTC Programming and Allocations Committee meeting, the Commission will vote to approve recommended priorities for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program (a statewide program funded by Cap and Trade proceeds); allocation of $1.4 million in Regional Measure 2 (RM2) funds to the Transportation Authority of Marin for the North-South Greenway Project; and reservation of $3 million of RM2 funds for the SMART Multi-Use Pathway in San Rafael.

Tune in to the meetings live once they are underway here. Read More

MTC

Friday News Round-Up: YES Conference, Bay Area Preservation Pilot Fund, 511 Now Available in Cantonese and Mandarin

Here's a quick round-up of the latest happenings at MTC:

  • Youth Environmental Activism Shines at 2018 YES Conference — Students from all over the Bay Area gathered for the Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference on February 24, in Oakland. Take a look at some of the highlights via this video from MTC's Mark Jones and this photo gallery.
  • MTC Pledges Millions to Preserve Affordable Housing — MTC committed $10 million to establish a new revolving loan fund known as the Bay Area Preservation Pilot Fund to help nonprofit developers finance the acquisition and preservation of existing multifamily housing properties that are located in areas with high-frequency transit service and are considered affordable for lower- and moderate-income renters.
Read More