VTA’s Joint Development Program Seeks to Boost Affordable Housing Availability6/2/2016 2:53 PM |
What does the Valley Transportation Authority have to do with building safe, affordable housing in Silicon Valley? Lots! Both figuratively and literally.
With an extensive portfolio of real estate assets located throughout Santa Clara County, VTA has updated its Joint Development Policy to reflect the changing needs of Silicon Valley.
The goals of the policy are to generate revenue; to carry out transit-oriented development; and to increase ridership on VTA's multi-modal transit system. Encouraging the development of affordable housing is a priority VTA can accomplish during the process of developing those real estate assets.
Now, VTA is addressing the critical need for more affordable housing by ensuring that, overall, 35 percent of new residential units built on VTA land are affordable to low-income households (60 percent or less of Area Median Income), with individual projects containing no less than 20 percent affordable units.
In addition to creating quality, affordable places for people to live, the added benefit to transit oriented development (TOD) is ridership. Building housing along public transit corridors increases the use of public transit. Take North First Street near River Oaks Parkway in North San Jose, for example. Light rail ridership at the River Oaks station saw a 6% increase after the Irvine Company built housing for up to 2600 people at River View apartments.
The housing developer has kept transit oriented development top of mind in its escalating efforts to meet the housing needs of Silicon Valley and it’s paying off for the environment and the roadways.
Including the affordable housing aspect in VTA’s Joint Development policy is a win-win situation.