Large, transit-oriented housing projects with significant amounts of affordable units will be built on the surface parking lots of two Berkeley BART stations, Ashby and North Berkeley.
After years of discussion and consideration, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved zoning guidelines for the projects in June 2022, which could eventually house more than 5,400 residents and result in 465 new jobs in Berkeley. At least 35% of new housing at each site will be affordable to households earning an average of up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Of that, at least 20% (or 7% of total units at each site) must be affordable to Extremely Low-Income households (those earning up to 30% of AMI).
The Berkeley City Council has committed $53 million to the projects, including up to $2 million for predevelopment expenses. This is extremely important to help attract smaller scale and nonprofit developers to public land being developed on a ground lease, as developers have trouble getting predevelopment loans when can’t use the property as security.
Affordable homes near transit (transit-oriented development) have multiple public benefits beyond providing housing for people who need it. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by enabling people to drive less; facilitating access to jobs, services, and community amenities; and boosting ridership and revenue for transit agencies, which helps them maintain and expand transit service that is vital to the region.
As of summer 2022 developers have not yet been chosen for these sites but construction is expected to begin around 2025 and the buildings are expected to be completed around 2030.
- City of Berkeley