Bay Area Housing Finance Authority Officially Launches
At the first BAHFA Board meeting – the same governing board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – Chair Scott Haggerty referred to creation of BAHFA as a historic moment. “BAHFA is unique in its design and emblematic of our need to work collaboratively across multi-regional agencies to address our housing challenges,” Haggerty said. “Activating BAHFA is a key step to building the regional infrastructure.”
In the spirit of shared leadership, Haggerty welcomed remarks from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) President Jesse Arreguín. “The current demands for racial justice underscore a history of redlining and exclusionary land use practices that have intentionally shut out Black families and other people of color from many communities. Now more than ever, it is critical to center racial equity in our approach to address housing needs. I am committed to working in partnership with MTC to advance racial justice through our expanded housing activities.”
Enterprise’s efforts to create BAHFA began more than two years ago with the release of our report, The Elephant in the Region: Charting a Path for Bay Area Metro to Lead a Bold Housing Agenda. The report calls for the creation of a regional housing finance entity to address the Bay Area’s chronic housing and displacement crisis.
In 2018, Enterprise along with the San Francisco Foundation and MTC organized an in-depth study tour of New York City’s robust housing finance and development system which was attended by 40 Bay Area housing leaders including mayors, MTC/ABAG representatives, state elected officials and executive staff of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy.
On this tour, there was a recognition that robust regional housing infrastructure is needed to deliver equitable affordable housing and tenant protections across the region and at scale. This was further underscored in the CASA compact which called for the creation of a regional entity to raise significant revenue for the 3Ps of production, preservation and protection in the Bay Area.
In 2019, Enterprise’s Northern California office co-sponsored our first piece of legislation, AB 1487, that enabled the creation of BAHFA. We worked closely with the bill’s author, Assembly Member David Chiu, and MTC and ABAG’s leadership to conceptualize BAHFA and design the policy parameters in AB 1487.
The BAHA campaign will focus its efforts on helping incubate BAHFA to ensuring it addresses the racial and social disparities in accessing safe and stable housing. Winning a successful housing revenue ballot measure in the coming years remains BAHA’s primary goal.
For more information on the BAHA campaign and BAHFA, reach out to Geeta Rao.