Linking Affordable Housing and Transit

Affordable housing near transit is a powerful solution to some of our biggest challenges.

Because transit and shared mobility options are generally cheaper than vehicle ownership, it’s an equity solution that saves families time and money.
Because lower income households drive less and are more likely to use transit than higher income households, it’s a climate solution.
Because making it easy to get around without a car leads to less driving, it’s a traffic solution.
Because less driving means cleaner air, it’s a public health and environmental justice solution.

That’s why TransForm has made this a priority since our founding.

Transit Agencies’ Development Policies

After years of advocacy alongside East Bay Housing Organizations and other great partners, BART adopted a Transit-Oriented Development Policy that set a target of developing 20,000 units of housing on their land, with 7,000 affordable units, aligned their TDM guidelines with our GreenTRIP standards, and pledged no net loss of low-income households in station areas by 2040. Now we plan on working with BART to create plans that can bring this vision to life -- starting with El Cerrito Plaza and Lake Merritt stations. We are also looking to other transit districts, such as Santa Clara’s VTA, to implement similar policies.

Statewide Housing and TOD Policy

In the first half of 2018, SB 827 (Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill to allow much taller and denser housing near transit) dominated the conversation about housing policy in California, inspiring an intense debate and recommendations from TransForm that were incorporated before the bill died in committee.

Still, with the housing crisis worsening, more legislators and advocates will inevitably jump into the fray. TransForm is well positioned to help decision-makers and advocates structure policy that will be powerful, durable, and fair. Regionally and statewide, TransForm will advance solutions that result in healthy, connected communities with more homes for people of all incomes, and less driving.


In 2018, Stuart Cohen was appointed on behalf of TransForm to the influential CASA Steering Committee. This is a Bay Area initiative bringing together leaders to build an actionable political consensus around increasing housing production at all levels of affordability, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting vulnerable populations from displacement.