Priority Sites

Contra Costa BART town square.
Credit: BART

Priority Sites

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 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.

Coming Soon: 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.

Application and nomination materials will be posted to this site in early April 2023. Pending final approval by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $28 million in pre-development funding will be available, complemented by ongoing technical assistance.

Webinar: Bay Area Priority Sites Pilot Program

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.

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.