Investing in a Vibrant, Connected Bay Area


Affordability in urban, transit hubs is a key issue in the San Francisco Bay Area. Well-designed transit oriented developments enable residents to access basic services and work without driving. This can effectively reduce air pollution and help preserve open space and agricultural land.

The Great Communities Collaborative is a 24-member collaborative of Bay Area nonprofits, focused on ensuring that at least half of the Bay Area’s new homes built by 2030 are in walkable communities in close proximity to public transit, at prices affordable to all. The San Francisco Foundation’s Program-Related Investment Fund invested in the Collaborative with an initial $500,000 seed loan, which helped secure a $10 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and launch the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) Fund to bring transit-oriented plans across the Bay Area to life.

Over seven years of collaboration, coordination, and trust-building amongst partners, The San Francisco Foundation’s $500,000 seed loan was leveraged into a $50 million loan fund to develop affordable housing around transit. In December 2012, the TOAH Fund was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Smart Growth Achievement Award.

Pictured above is the future site of affordable housing for 153 families, and the first grocery store in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, is made possible by the capital and leverage of the Program-Related Investment Fund.

Learn about other borrower making transformative change in the Bay Area through Program-Related Investments, and about the work of the Great Communities Collaborative.