Transit-Oriented Development in Southern California

In Southern California, Enterprise brings together banking, philanthropic, developer, agency, and community partners to promote equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD).  We offer a program promoting innovation, networking collaboration, driving policy change, generating resources, and strengthening the vision necessary to achieve sustainable, connected communities.

Promoting Innovation

Since 2011, our Southern California program has provided more than $1.2 million in grants to advance transit-integrated affordable housing, sustainable community master plans, and EcoDistricts.  We are constantly learning lessons from these partnerships, sharing the tools they generate with a growing network of innovators, and integrating our efforts with other regions through Enterprise national initiatives focused on Transit-Oriented Development, Green Communities, and Design Leadership.  In 2014, innovation took center stage as Los Angeles hosted architecture and development inspirations from across the country, showcasing design solutions that activated sustainable, connected communities at the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute.

Networking Collaboration

Since 2013, we have taken a leadership role in convening new partners for smart growth in the region under the banner of Los Angeles Transit, Housing, Resources and Investment for a Vibrant Economy (LA THRIVES).  While at a smaller scale than transit and still in its early stages, we also see an emerging civic movement to invest potentially billions of dollars in development along a Los Angeles River Greenway, 51 miles of open space and environmental restoration flowing through the heart of our concrete-covered megalopolis.  We joined forces with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership to link the community development industry with environmentalists, taking lessons from transit development equity to channel new river-oriented development that lifts up low-income families.

Driving Policy Change

We join a growing, local movement in calling for integrated equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) policies from all government agencies in the region.  Enterprise partnered on a study identifying the tools that Metro can use to invest in eTOD projects, promote equity as a factor in land lease and disposition arrangements, and target community development in its grant program and call for projects.  Enterprise joins Housing California, Housing for a Stronger Los Angeles, and elected leaders in the effort to create permanent funding sources to anchor the local and statewide affordable housing pipeline and align housing production and preservation with the region’s expanding connecting infrastructure.

Generating Resources – With a $52 million acquisition fund gateway, we are a founding partner, originator, and manager of the New Generation Fund and is working with the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles (HCIDLA) to secure a pipeline of projects strategically managed in keeping with the city’s first Transit-Oriented Consolidated Plan (ConPlan).  The mixed-income and mixed-use projects called for in truly sustainable, connected communities will require additional financing options that have not previously existed.  LA THRIVES initiated its Generating New Resources Working Group to explore how to make mezzanine debt, affordable equity, or other creative financing options a reality.  We are preparing to partner with city agencies to leverage private investment to fund renewable energy, district-scale utility and storm water systems, thereby relieving developer costs while lowering the energy footprint and watershed impacts of neighborhood development.  Lastly, in partnership with Enterprise and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Living Cities, the collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, has announced that its CONNECT Initiative is coming to Southern California in 2014.

Strengthening the Vision

We launched the Transit-Oriented District University, or TOD U, to support a network of community-based and membership organizations to customize a modular popular education curriculum in their own neighborhoods and within their ongoing organizing, land use, and development campaigns.