On March 7th, the Caltrain Board of Directors held a discussion on adopting a Caltrain transit-oriented development (TOD) policy. While the Board did not take action at this meeting, the discussion was an important step towards shaping a formal policy.
Caltrain has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of other Bay Area transit agencies, including the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), to put its land to use in helping address our shared housing crisis. Both VTA and BART have adopted policies that incentivize housing development on agency-owned parcels with an on-site 20% affordability requirement and a 35% system-wide goal. These agencies have shown leadership in responding to the regional issue of housing affordability by leveraging their regionally-dispersed land ownership to attract housing development on agency-owned land that is accessible to public transportation options.
To that end, SV@Home was excited to join housing advocates, including the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County (HLC) and Friends of Caltrain, who have been leading an advocacy push to ensure that any TOD policy prioritizes the development of dense, affordable housing on Caltrain land and near Caltrain stations.
We are urging that the Board adopt a TOD policy by the end of 2019 that prioritizes high density residential development, sets a goal of 20% of all homes constructed on Caltrain land be deed-restricted affordable, and puts in place incentives for the construction of 100% affordable developments.
SV@Home is looking forward to continuing to collaborate with fellow housers and transit advocates to work towards a Caltrain TOD policy that puts affordable housing first.