The Bay Area’s housing affordability and neighborhood stability crisis has been decades in the making. Regional affordability and equity challenges, including displacement risks, continue to worsen.


New housing construction of a four-story, multi-family building.
South San Francisco, San Mateo County.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Affordable housing in the Bay Area has become more and more scarce in recent years. Although the housing crisis has many components, its foundation is clear: there simply is not enough housing, whether market-rate or affordable, given the growing number of residents and jobs.

Housing is one of the four key elements, along with the economy, the environment and transportation, at the center of Plan Bay Area 2050. The Plan Bay Area 2050 Housing Element will begin by determining how and where the Bay Area should grow, as identified in the Regional Growth Framework. A long-range Regional Growth Forecast also must be developed to identify the number of people, jobs and housing units required through 2050. Through this work, staff will examine a range of strategies that will coordinate housing and job growth while achieving the goals of making a more resilient and equitable future for the Bay Area.

Only through partnership with local, state and federal governments – as well as with businesses and non-profit organizations – will Plan Bay Area 2050’s vision of a more resilient and equitable region come to fruition. MTC and ABAG will develop a short-term Implementation Plan for how the region can work to take action to enact the strategies adopted in Plan Bay Area 2050. The Implementation Plan will outline tangible actions related to the Housing Element of Plan Bay Area 2050 that MTC, ABAG and their partners could advance to realize this shared vision.

Core Questions to Address in the Housing Element

  •     Where should we prioritize housing growth?
  •     What strategies are required to support housing growth?

Work Completed

  • Revenue Forecasts. Under federal law, transportation investments in a regional plan must align with anticipated future revenues. Expanding upon this framework, MTC and ABAG also are working to identify current and future revenue sources for affordable housing to create a more comprehensive regional plan. Revenue forecasts will be used when developing the Blueprint in fall 2019 and winter 2020.
  • Needs Assessments. Needs assessments are conducted for specific funding categories to understand the financial resources required to achieve specific long-range planning goals. For Plan Bay Area 2050, needs assessments are slated to be conducted for housing.
  • Regional Growth Framework Update. The Regional Growth Framework – comprised of Priority Development Areas, Priority Conservation Areas and Priority Production Areas (a newly-established pilot) – is the Bay Area’s strategy for coordinating housing and job growth to achieved shared goals. The Regional Growth Framework will shape the investments and growth pattern detailed in the upcoming Plan Bay Area 2050. ABAG and MTC in June 2019 opened a call for cities, counties, special districts, and County Transportation Agencies to submit Letters of Interest and/ or Letters of Confirmation. Submissions were due September 16, 2019, and the submissions window is now closed. Learn more about the call for letters.
  • Regional Growth Forecast Methodology. Before developing a localized growth pattern as part of the Blueprint, a long-range regional growth forecast must be developed to identify the number of people, jobs and housing units required through 2050. On September 19, 2019, staff held a public hearing on methodology updates and the ABAG Executive Board approved the regional forecast methodology for use in Plan Bay Area 2050. Draft forecast work is now underway.

Upcoming Milestones

Winter 2020

  • Analysis of Draft Blueprint   

Spring 2020

  • Analysis of Draft Blueprint   
  • Second Round of PDA Nominations

Summer 2020

  • Public and Stakeholder Meetings on Draft Blueprint  
  • Release of Draft Blueprint Results

Fall 2020

  • Refinement of Housing Strategies
  • Release and Adoption of Final Blueprint

Point of Contact
Mark Shorett, Regional Planning Program