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Transit Oriented Housing Program

Best Practice Category:

Affordable Housing Transit Prioritization, Accessibility, and Area Design

Description

The California Department of Housing and Community Development supports the development of housing around mass transit infrastructure through the TOD Housing Program. The program’s primary objectives are to increase the overall supply of housing, increase the supply of affordable housing, increase public transit ridership, and minimize automobile trips.

Urbanize LA
credit: Urbanize LA

The program offers low-interest loans as gap financing for rental housing developments that include affordable assistance, and as mortgage assistance for homeownership developments. In addition, grants are available to cities, counties, and transit agencies for infrastructure improvements necessary for the development of specified housing developments, or to facilitate connections between these developments and the transit station.

The basic structure of the TOD Housing Program borrows heavily from two existing State housing programs. For rental development, it is patterned after the Multifamily Housing Program (MHP), but without the emphasis on large family units or special needs populations. For homeownership development, the model is the Building Equity and Growth in Neighborhoods Program (BEGIN), absent the requirement for local regulatory relief.

Eligible developments are those with greater than 50 units, located within 0.25 miles of a qualifying transit station, have at least 15% of units be restricted, and meet minimum density requirements.

Outcomes

  • Supports affordable housing development around transit stops
  • Incentivizes dense nodes in areas served by multiple transportation options including mass transit
  • Provides support for public transit systems through increased ridership

Examples:

The Paseo at Californian

The TOD Housing Program was used to provide gap funding for The Paseo at Californian. The Paseo is a 53-unit affordable housing project located at the corner of 6th and Bonnie Brae Streets in Los Angeles’s Westlake neighborhood. The project was developed by American Communities and all units in the building will be income restricted. The TOD Housing Program provided a total of $6.4 million in loans to the developer. The project will offer critically needed low-income housing in a transit-accessible, downtown-adjacent neighborhood.

The site and Westlake more generally are well-served by transit. The site is a short walk from the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro station which serves the Red and Purple lines. The lines provide easy access to Downtown, Koreatown, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles’s urban core. Furthermore, several major bus lines service Wilshire Boulevard including the 720 Metro Rapid line.

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