Priority Sites are locally-identified, regionally significant places that will offer homes affordable to people of all incomes, backgrounds and abilities. Sites include or are nearby essential services, green space and frequent public transit. The first set of Priority Sites were approved by ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in November 2023.
A Priority Site could be a declining mall, a recently closed public facility, a transit station parking lot or unused school district land. With thoughtful planning and targeted investment, these sites can become centers of the community that will house longtime residents while also welcoming new ones, and provide local and regional services.
The Priority Sites Program provides technical assistance and funding for sites adopted by ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Sites will also be included in the update to Plan Bay Area 2050, known as Plan Bay Area 2050+, and will be considered for additional funding for infrastructure, housing and planning.
Apply Now for Predevelopment Funding & Technical Assistance
The Priority Sites Program is currently offering two funding opportunities:
- Predevelopment Funding: The application period for Predevelopment Funding closed on January 17, 2024. Project sponsors were able to submit a Letter of Interest to compete for $28 million in predevelopment funding for projects on approved Priority Sites. Review the Letter of Interest/Funding Application Notice or visit the Priority Sites Nomination and Application Portal. Competitive applications will demonstrate site control, a realistic financing plan, and full entitlement or a clear path toward streamlined entitlement.
- Technical Assistance: Priority Sites are also eligible to receive Technical Assistance to complete the analysis, initial design, planning and engagement necessary to prime sites for reuse that meets community needs. Requests for Technical Assistance are reviewed on a rolling basis, with the deadline for the first $1 million on January 31, 2024. To submit a request, visit the Priority Sites Technical Assistance Portal. Technical Assistance may be ideal for sites without projects prepared to apply for Predevelopment Funding.
Funding is made possible by a grant to MTC from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Awards are subject to pending final approval of the grant program by HCD.
In Plan Bay Area 2050 – the region’s long-range plan for transportation, housing, the economy and the environment – projects on potential Priority Sites are expected to add well over 300,000 new homes. Most will be within walking distance of regional transit, and they are on sites that are included as part of two key Plan Bay Area 2050 strategies: Mall and Office Park Reuse; and Public Land Reuse. Many of these sites are also part of a local Housing Elements or Priority Development Area plan.
The Priority Sites Concept Paper draws on interviews, research and case studies to identify challenges and opportunities to advancing these sites in the Bay Area. The paper outlines the Priority Sites Pilot Program launched in 2023, as well as a broader vision for creating a pipeline of locally prioritized, regionally significant sites supported by the resources and expertise needed to complete projects on these sites.
Plan Bay Area 2050
This chapter explores how the locations where housing is built, and in what form, can impact the greatest challenges facing the Bay Area today. These challenges include housing unaffordability, exclusion from opportunity and greenhouse gas emissions.
Plan Bay Area 2050 promotes stable and affordable housing that all Bay Area residents can rely on. The plan’s housing strategies aim to protect and preserve affordable housing, spur housing production for residents at all income levels, and create inclusive communities.
Webinar: Priority Sites Concept Paper
ABAG, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Bay Area Housing Finance Authority staff hosted a webinar on September 21, 2022 to highlight findings from the Priority Sites Concept Paper and provide further insight into the pilot program’s proposed approach to advancing major reuse projects.
- Watch the video: Priority Sites Concept Paper
- View the webinar slides
Priority Sites Nomination Period Closed
Nomination Period Closed
The Priority Sites nomination period closed on September 30, 2023.
Webinar: How to Nominate a Priority Site
On August 22, 2023, MTC, Association of Bay Area Governments and Bay Area Housing Finance Authority staff hosted a webinar about the process of identifying Priority Sites and completing the nomination process: