The San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with a comprehensive, far-reaching transit system, yet only 9% of Bay Area residents use transit to commute. The vast majority of residents rely on their car to get to work, pick up their kids from school, and run errands. Moving the Bay Area away from car dependence and toward a sustainable region requires a bold, new approach to growth and development—one that provides economic and housing opportunities near transit to low-income communities of color.

Great Communities Collaborative shapes regional policies, plans, and funding priorities that advance equitable transit-oriented development. We conduct innovative applied research and influence state and federal policies that impact development in the Bay Area.

Our recent regionally-focused projects include:

Displacement Symposium Series
The economy is booming in the San Francisco Bay Area, spurring enormous job creation and an influx of new high-earner households. But rapid growth is placing extreme pressure on housing markets, and for the region’s lower income communities – which are disproportionately communities of color and were already experiencing high rates of housing cost burden – this has translated into escalating rents and rises in evictions. These gentrification and displacement pressures threaten economic and racial diversity of the region in the long-term. What would it look like to change this trajectory and guide growth and development in a more equitable manner? What are the needed policy tools and how can diverse stakeholders come together to make change?

Together with the Community Development team at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and the Urban Displacement Project at the University of California at Berkeley, we are hosting a four-part workshop series on Investing without Displacement.

Visit the Urban Displacement Project’s website on the series to download materials, learn about upcoming workshops, and get involved.

Transit Agency Partnerships
GCC is working closely with BART and VTA staff and Boards of Directors to accelerate equitable TOD in the region. This work includes both:

1) Convening a TOD Implementation Working Group that brings together and aligning different tools and resources to develop innovative cross-sector strategies to encourage development that supports the implementation of Plan Bay Area. This group currently includes BART, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Bay Area Regional Collaborative, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC), Enterprise Community Partners, TransForm, and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF).

2) Supporting four GCC partners to work with transit agency staff and Boards of Directors to find ways to proactively support equitable transit-oriented development. These organizations include: Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), TransForm, and East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). Update on the policies adopted by these agencies coming soon!

Older regionally-focused projects include:

Quality of Life Initiative
GCC explored the potential of a new “Quality of Life” funding measure to implement Plan Bay Area. The goal of the Initiative would be to create a funding and expenditure program of $750 million to $1 billion per year to fund transit operations, open space preservation, and affordable housing development near transit. Update on this initiative coming soon!

Bay Area Prosperity Plan  
GCC helped secure a $5 million grant from the HUD’s Sustainable Communities Partnership Program for the Bay Area Prosperity Plan. Our regional agencies, MTC and ABAG, led a three-year initiative to create stronger, more sustainable communities by integrating housing and jobs planning, fostering local innovation, and building a clean energy economy. Visit this page to learn more about what this work produced.

Moving to Work
Moving to Work is a GCC applied research project that identifies the transportation constraints and needs of low-moderate income workers in the Bay Area to access career-ladder job opportunities. In September 2013, Moving to Work release four briefs that will inform the Bay Area Prosperity Plan.

Plan Bay Area
GCC has been instrumental in shaping Plan Bay Area, the region’s first integrated plan required under the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill 375). Our collective advocacy has resulted in the following wins:

  • 87% of funding ($253 billion) to maintain and operate the current transportation network, and only 5% designated for new roads
  • Cities that approve and produce affordable homes will be rewarded with transportation funding
  • At least 25% of new cap and trade funding will support disadvantaged communities
  • A new comprehensive strategy for local transit operating support
  • The first-of-its-kind conservation grant program for protecting natural and agricultural lands

Read more about GCC’s involvement with Plan Bay Area at The San Francisco Foundation.