For Immediate ReleaseNovember 28, 2023
Nine-county ballot measure may be considered for 2024
San Rafael, CA – In the San Francisco Bay Area, are addressing a shared housing and homelessness crisis by working together to provide funding for housing for low-income seniors, local workforce, people without homes and other low-income residents.
The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) is a regional authority and represents of all Bay Area counties including Marin. Its purpose is to raise, administer, and allocate funding for homes affordable to lower income households in a housing marketplace that is one of the most expensive in the country.
During its November 28 meeting, the Marin County Board of Supervisors heard a report that provided an overview of the BAHFA and the proposed regional bond that is under consideration for the November 2024 election ballot. According to the report, almost 39,000 people in the Bay Area experienced homelessness in 2022 and another 575,000 low-wage workers are at risk of homelessness. People of all income levels are leaving the Bay Area for good because of high costs of living or commuting more than 90 minutes to live in more affordable areas. Employers are having more trouble hiring and retaining a workforce.
If voters approve the bond measure a year from now, between $10 billion and $20 billion would be raised for affordable homes throughout the region. The jurisdictional boundaries are within the counties of Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
The effort has a big head start already: BAHFA secured $20 million from the 2021 state budget to start joint operations and implement pilot projects. Boosted further by additional state funds, philanthropic donations, and support from private industry, BAHFA is expecting to deliver over $50 million to protect, preserve and produce enough housing for all Bay Area residents, known as the 3 Ps, if the majority of voters believe it’s a good idea.
Leelee Thomas, Deputy Director of the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA), said a local expenditure plan will be created for Marin’s portion of funds in anticipation of bond measure passage.
“Extensive public outreach will be a critical component as we work on that plan,” Thomas said. “Engaging our cities and towns will be vital to include their goals and priorities. Also outreach to people of color, lower-income households, and special-needs community members is going to be especially important since they are most at risk of being affected by the current housing crisis and have historically been less engaged in planning processes.”
Marin CDA plans to involve community members and stakeholders on local spending priorities in 2024. After that, the Board will receive another update on recommended priorities and provide feedback on a draft expenditure plan. If the regional bond measure passes, the nine Bay Area counties would each present and adopt final expenditure plans by February 2025.
Board President Stephanie Moulton Peters is a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and Supervisor Mary Sackett is a member of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). MTC and ABAG are the governing boards for BAHFA.
“Lack of affordable housing and increases in homelessness in the Bay Area is a regional problem, and BAHFA is a regional response that is creative, innovative and bold,” Moulton-Peters said. “Working together, our counties can have a real impact.”
Learn more about BAHFA online.
Jillian Nameth ZeigerSenior Housing and Federal Grants PlannerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7549Email: Jillian Nameth ZeigerCDA website