The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) just named its first Director to lead the new entity created by AB 1487 (2019). BAHFA, the first regional housing agency in the State, will provide both technical assistance and financial assistance to the Bay Area’s nine counties and 101 cities. The Authority is housed in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Bay Area’s transit planning, financing, and coordinating agency.
Kate Hartley, most recently the Chief Lending and Investment Officer for the Housing Accelerator Fund, a San Francisco based nonprofit, and the former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, will lead the efforts to build the new organization and to transform the way the Bay Area responds to its housing challenges. BAHFA has designed several pilot projects that it is now overseeing and will soon turn its attention to a potential 2024 ballot measure to provide a significant source of funding needed for housing development and preservation.
SB 679 (2021), a bill authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager, would have created a similar agency in Los Angeles County called the L.A. County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA). LACAHSA would have had the authority to raise public funds and work with the County’s 88 cities and its many unincorporated areas to support systemic solutions for affordable housing and renter protection programs. The bill did not move last year, but it is anticipated that it will be reintroduced early in 2022.