The CA Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Housing Program funds the development of apartments and condominiums within 1/4-mile of transit, with the specific goals of increasing public transit ridership, minimizing automobile trips, and promoting greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.
HCD awards funds from this program using criteria based on rigorous empirical data and academic research on the best methods of reducing auto use and increasing transit ridership. GHG benefits from affordable TOD are long lasting. They endure for at least 55 years, the life of the loan.
- Proposition 1C initially funded the program at $300 million.
- Over two funding rounds in 2007 and 2008, through a competitive process, HCD awarded $271 million, which:
- Created 27 developments
- Produced 6,158 homes
- Leveraged more than $1.6 billion in federal and private capital
- HCD was able to fund less than a quarter of the 119 applications it received.
All developments funded through the program must be within 1/4 mile of a transit station that provides high-quality transit service and meet minimum density levels based on location. Developments are selected using a point scoring system based on characteristics deemed necessary for creating successful TOD housing. In the program’s second round, the majority of the total points (220 out of 380) were awarded based on features that reduce GHG and vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Consistent with Infill and TOD Objectives of Regional Planning Efforts (30 points): Developments must be consistent with regional planning efforts, local plans, and specific plans and be located in areas targeted for infill and transit-oriented development. All awardees in the second round scored full points.
Quality of Transit System and Transit Station (90 points): Transit service must offer travel times equal to or better than automobile travel and must provide real time schedule information to riders. Awardees in the second round scored 66 to 90 points.
Access to Services (15 points): Developments must be located within a half mile of at least ten distinct amenities (grocery stores, schools, parks, etc.) that enable residents to avoid the use of a car to meet basic needs. All awardees in the second round scored full points.
Discounted Transit Passes (5 points): Developments must offer free or discounted transit passes (no more than half of retail cost) to each lower income household for the term of the program loan (55 years). All awardees in the second round scored full points.
Innovative Parking Reduction Strategies (25 points): Developments must feature parking shared between various uses, such as residential and retail (5 points); offer dedicated parking spaces for car-sharing vehicles (5 points); and offer minimal residential parking (10 points). Residents pay for parking separately from monthly rent payments (except where prohibited by federal law) (5 points). All awardees in the second round scored full points.
Biking and Walking Friendly Features (25 points): The main walking route between the transit station and the development must have small street blocks, street lighting after dark, ADA compliant sidewalks, and safe street crossings. The transit station must have waiting areas with seating, lights, shelter, and bicycle facilities. All awardees in the second round scored full points.
Serves Households at Lower Income Levels (30 Points): Developments must provide dedicated units that are affordable to lower income households, who are most likely to take transit and less likely to own a car. All awardees in the second round scored full points.
The remaining points are awarded based on the readiness of the development for construction, the amount of additional capital it is able to leverage, the developer’s track record of successful completion of infill and TOD, and community support for the development.
For the third funding round, HCD made changes to the program’s scoring criteria that improve the focus on reducing VMT and GHG emissions by adding scoring categories for Accessibility to Job Centers and Consistency with the GHG objectives of local plans and AB 32, and by increasing the value of other GHG-reducing categories.