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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Congressman DeSaulnier Introduces Legislation to Support Affordable Housing and Development Projects Near Transit

February 7, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced a bill to support affordable housing and development projects conveniently located near transit hubs. The Equitable Transit Oriented Development Support Act (H.R. 5783) makes federal transportation infrastructure loans available for building affordable housing and developments in underserved communities, with a particular focus on developing near convenient transit hubs. This approach, commonly called “transit-oriented development” or “TOD,” ensures that underserved communities have easy access to public transportation, affordable housing, and jobs.

“The high cost of living, particularly in the Bay Area, has forced families to move much farther from their workplaces and away from convenient transit hubs. We need to ensure Bay Area residents are provided convenient and affordable options,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “Increasing access to transit is good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for everyday workers.”

Under the legislation, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are made eligible for these federal transportation loans. CDFIs share a common goal of expanding economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses. Ensuring that CDFIs are eligible to receive these loans will help secure equitable TOD in the Bay Area and in other communities across the country.

“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is proud to support the Equitable Transit Oriented Development Support Act since we know firsthand the impact community development financial institutions can achieve with their equitable transit oriented development lending. These investments ensure that underserved families are able to use transit to access affordable housing, employment opportunities, and critical community services. The Act authorizes the first direct federal support for equitable TOD financing, which will further CDFI assistance for these projects. We applaud Rep. DeSaulnier for his leadership in supporting equitable transit oriented development,” said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

“Opportunity Finance Network thanks Rep. DeSaulnier for his commitment to providing low-cost, long-term capital to CDFIs. This legislation will enable OFN’s members to finance needed equitable transit oriented development projects, such as housing, healthcare centers, and early childhood facilities. Through 2018, OFN's network originated $74 billion in communities across all 50 states, including rural, urban, and Native areas. New tools, such as the TIFIA Equitable Transit Oriented Development program, will allow our members to go deeper in communities of the greatest need,” said Jennifer Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer, Opportunity Finance Network.

Congressman DeSaulnier is a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. He previously served as the Chair of the State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and in the State Assembly as the first freshman in history to chair the Assembly Transportation Committee.

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