Priority Sites

Contra Costa BART town square.
Credit: BART

Priority Sites

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.

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.

Priority Sites Pilot Program

Launching in mid-2023, the Priority Sites Program will provide technical assistance and funding for sites nominated by local governments and affordable housing developers. Sites will also be included in the update to Plan Bay Area 2050 – Plan Bay Area 2050+ – and will be considered for additional funding for infrastructure, housing and planning.

To nominate a Priority Site, visit the Priority Sites Nomination and Application Portal. Projects on nominated sites will be eligible for $28 million in pre-development funding pending final approval by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). All nominated sites will be eligible for tailored technical assistance and future planning grants.

    Priority Sites Concept Paper

    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 also introduces a Priority Sites Pilot Program that will create a pipeline of locally prioritized, regionally significant sites and deliver the support needed to complete projects on these sites.

    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.

    Staff Contact

    Mark Shorett

      Plan Bay Area 2050

      Read "Chapter 2: Housing" of 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.

      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:

      Plan Bay Area 2050+ logo.

      Plan Bay Area 2050+

      Plan Bay Area 2050+ is an update to the current long-range regional plan, Plan Bay Area 2050. It will build on the strong foundation of the previous plan to chart a course for a Bay Area that is affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant for all residents through 2050 and beyond.