OAKLAND, CA – At the January 28 meeting of the BART Board of Directors, the BART Board adopted an inclusionary/affordable housing policy for developments that occur at BART Stations. The policy was introduced by BART's District 7 Director, Zakhary Mallett, in fulfillment of a policy initiative he has had since February 2013.
The policy requires that all future housing developments at BART stations must achieve a 20% minimum share of affordable units within the BART station property area. Any exception to this policy will require staff to request exception approval from the Board of Directors.
BART Director Rebecca Saltzman of Oakland, who seconded Mallett's motion, mentioned that "the limited supply of affordable housing is a crisis in the Bay Area. The BRIDGE Housing Development at BART's San Leandro Station underscores this: 17,000 people have expressed interest in applying for just 115 affordable units. The pasage of this policy allows BART to be a leader in addressing this crisis."
In addition to helping address the Bay Area’s affordable housing crisis by increasing the overall supply of affordable housing, Mallett explains that the policy will also ensure that developments at BART stations generate greater BART ridership and transit usage: “A strong correlation exists between income levels and transit usage; low- to moderate-income households who live in transit-rich environments are many times more likely to make use of transit services for both work and non-work trips than market-rate households. As a result, this policy will help preserve transit-oriented development at BART stations for populations more likely to make use of the transit services. It creates a win-win.”
BART Director Joel Keller of Brentwood added that “this policy expresses publicly our acknowledgement and commitment to the importance of affordable housing while simultaneously sending a message to development interests that they must come willing to work with BART in delivering a reasonable share of affordable housing.”
# # #