Close to two dozen VTA Transit Oriented Development sites have an important new designation that supports the development of affordable and mixed-income housing on underutilized land. Twenty-one sites were designated as Priority Sites by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). This program aims to provide $28 million in pre-development funding and technical assistance for affordable and mixed-income housing developments located on properties designated as Priority Sites.
MTC is the planning organization that coordinates and disperses state and federal funding for planning projects throughout the nine-county Bay Area. Earlier this year, MTC announced the Priority Site pilot program.
VTA’s Priority Sites are located throughout Santa Clara County, from Milpitas to Morgan Hill, and include VTA-owned land adjacent to BART, Caltrain, and VTA light rail stations. These sites are typically parking lots or vacant land around our station areas. This funding opportunity will allow our developer partners to create thoughtful, inclusive projects with substantial amounts of greatly needed affordable housing next to transit stations. The goal is to increase ridership, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and address the regional housing crisis. The 21 VTA Priority Sites have the capacity to provide nearly 5,200 housing units, including over 2,000 affordable housing units for households earning 60% of area median income (AMI) and below. In 2023, 60% AMI is a household income of $107,040 or less for a family of four.
The VTA Transit-Oriented Communities Policy, revised in 2023, requires that at least 25% of units in any housing development on our land must be affordable at 60% AMI and below, and at least 40% of the units across the portfolio must be affordable at 60% AMI. Further, at least half of all affordable units must be affordable to households earning 50% AMI and below. The Transit-Oriented Communities program projects that at full build-out, VTA’s portfolio will generate millions of dollars in annual revenue from development to support transit operations.