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S.F. Bay Area “Smart” Fund Receives Honorable Mention for EPA Award

Release Date: 12/05/2012
Contact Information: David Yogi, yogi.david@epa.gov, (415) 972-3350


Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund Honored for Equitable Land Development

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today recognized the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH) as an honorable mention recipient of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the category of Programs and Policies for TOAH’s work to provide financing for affordable housing development and community services throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

The $50 million fund—established through contributions from the Bay Area-based Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Great Communities Collaborative, and The Low Income Investment Fund—has provided affordable loans to developers seeking to build affordable housing, retail space, and other critical services, such as child care centers, near transit hubs throughout the Bay Area.

“This fund demonstrates how the economic resources of multiple organizations can be leveraged to affect positive change in communities,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Using transportation funds to support affordable housing near public transportation is a smart, innovative strategy that can bring environmental benefits and serve as a model across the country.”

The $10 million initial investment by MTC to the housing fund was leveraged four-to-one with funds from the private sector and foundations to increase the fund’s value to $50 million. Thus far, the fund has provided loans for a 153-unit high-rise for low-income families located two blocks from a major transit station and for a 64-unit building for seniors close to a light rail station that will provide free transit passes for all residents.

The National Award for Smart Growth Achievement is given for creative, sustainable initiatives that help protect the health and the environment of our communities while also strengthening local economies. TOAH and six additional projects were honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. today.

EPA created the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002 to recognize exceptional approaches to development that protect the environment, encourage economic vitality, and enhance quality of life. In the past 11 years, 54 winners from 26 states have shown a variety of approaches that states, regions, cities, suburbs, and rural communities can use to create economically strong, environmentally responsible development.

For more information on the 2012 Smart Growth winners, visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/awards.htm

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