Policy and Advocacy Initiative

RCD launched our Policy and Advocacy Initiative to deepen our engagement in the creation of new policies and funding mechanisms for building and preserving affordable housing. RCD staff has decades of experience in developing and operating resident- and community-serving affordable housing across the Bay Area. We apply that experience to champion and support reforms that will meaningfully address the housing affordability crisis.

Our efforts are focused on four programmatic areas, in which we are building strategic campaigns that engage our staff, residents, and partner organizations to advocate for change:

RCD’s Policy Manager shares comments at a local planning commission meeting

Current Focus Areas

Maintain and Expand Access to By-Right Approvals

The expansion of by-right approvals for affordable housing developments through Senate Bill (SB) 35 has had an unrivalled and positive effect on RCD’s pipeline developments. RCD has entitled nearly 800 apartments through SB35 and similar legislation, saving significant time and funds. RCD works to maintain and expand access to by-right approval processes so that our developments can continue to move forward through a streamlined entitlement process.

📚   A link to: Read more about the success of SB 35
📚   A link to: Learn more about recent wins in expanding and maintaining By-Right Approvals

Increase Local and Regional Funding

Subsidy funding is critical for affordable housing development: it is typically the first financing in and is crucial to leveraging other capital sources. However, the amount and availability of funding varies widely between jurisdictions. A regional approach is needed to build more affordable housing in a way that is equitably distributed. RCD is part of a growing coalition of organizations fighting to lower the voter threshold for affordable housing bonds and pass a regional housing bond in 2024.  

📚   A link to: Learn about the resources needed to build more affordable homes
📣  A link to: Endorse the Bay Area Housing for All campaign

Enhance Coordination and Efficiency of Funding Programs

A lack of coordination between affordable housing funding sources increases costs and delays development. RCD uses our technical expertise to advise on the creation of local, regional, and state funding programs so that they are easier to access, provide more certainty to applicants, and have terms that are compatible with other types of funding.

📚   A link to: Learn more about the complexity of financing affordable housing

Facilitating Sustainable Permanent Supportive Housing

Permanent supportive housing (PSH) combines affordable housing with on-site services to help individuals formerly experiencing homelessness stay housed. RCD works to deepen connections between services and housing providers; ensure people can quickly access vacant PSH units; and support adoption of best practices in design, management, and services so these communities can best serve the needs of residents.

📚   A link to: Learn more about best practices in funding supportive services

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