NEW REPORT & WEBINAR: “Financing Valley Infill: How to Boost Sustainable Development in the San Joaquin Valley” 

Fresno, CA – The Council of Infill Builders released the new report Financing Valley Infill: How to Boost Sustainable Development in the San Joaquin Valley. Based on an expert convening of state and local officials, architects, real estate investors, developers and advocates, the report recommends options to boost infill housing in San Joaquin Valley downtowns and major transit corridors.

To learn more, view our webinar on the report (co-hosted with Fresno Metro Ministry) featuring a keynote by Thomas Esqueda, City Manager for the City of Fresno, and a panel presentation with:

  • Jessica Berzac, Upholdings
  • Saharnaz Mirzazad, California Strategic Growth Council
  • Bob Smith, Councilmember, City of Bakersfield Speakers

The report describes the key challenges to financing and permitting infill development in San Joaquin Valley downtowns and major transit corridors. Based on a stakeholder convening and outreach, key barriers to infill include high fees and restrictive local permitting and zoning in infill areas, a dearth of willing sellers for blighted lots, and inadequate infrastructure.

Financing Valley Infill recommends the following priority solutions to address the challenges:

  1. Reform local fees for infill projects by accounting for their true cost versus peripheral development projects.
  2. Invest in infill infrastructure to improve amenities and avoid saddling most or all of the costs on “pioneer” projects.
  3. Reform zoning for infill by making it easier and faster to permit meritorious projects.
  4. Assemble infill land parcels through land banking with incentives for owners to sell.
  5. Harmonize state and local funding and financing opportunities for Valley infill projects.
  6. Mobilize residents to support infill projects, particularly with outreach to residents of low-income, disadvantaged communities.
  7. Assess and address causes of high construction costs and convene state and local leaders to advance solutions

 You can read Financing Valley Infill here.

Lunch ‘n Learn Video on San Francisco’s $2B Co-op Redevelopment Housing Proposal

On Wednesday, April 7th, we hosted three key players in the development of Freedom West 2.0 in San Francisco, one of the most ambitious infill projects currently proposed in California. Speakers included:

  • Victor McFarlane, chairman and CEO of MacFarlane Partners
  • Mattie Scott, President of the Freedom West board of Directors
  • Landon Taylor, Co-founder of Legacy First Partners and lead advisor to Freedom West Homes Corp. 

Freedom West 2.0 is a partnership between the Freedom West Homes Corporation (FWHC), a nonprofit housing cooperative containing 382 housing units in San Francisco’s Fillmore District, MacFarlane Partners, an African American-owned and operated real estate investment and development firm and Avanath Capital Management. 

The $2 billion revitalization plan replaces the 382 existing units at Freedom West with 382 new market-rate quality co-op units that include modern amenities and more space at no additional cost to cooperative members. It also provides an additional 133 affordable rental units, bringing the total number of affordable housing to 515 units, and up to 2000 market rate units.  

Watch the video!

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NEW REPORT: “Accelerating Infill in Hayward: Options to Boost Housing”

Hayward, CA – The Council of Infill Builders released the new report Accelerating Infill in Hayward: Options to Boost Housing. Based on an expert convening of local public officials, architects, real estate investors and developers, the report recommends options to boost infill housing in the central San Francisco East Bay City of Hayward, well situated with two BART stations, an executive airport, and transit and highway access to job centers.

The report finds that high costs, uncertain demand, lack of supportive public infrastructure, and unusual parcels may hinder infill housing investment in Hayward. Accelerating Infill in Hayward recommends a number of  priority policy solutions to address the challenges, including:

  1. Reconfigured streets to encourage transit ridership and pedestrian access.
  2. Deferred fees to boost investment in marginal infill projects.
  3. Fast-track ministerial approvals for meritorious infill projects.
  4. Zoning flexibility to offer options for meeting retail, density and affordable housing requirement off-site.

You can read Accelerating Infill in Hayward here.


Webinar on California’s Local Housing Mandates

Image result for ben metcalf hcdThe Council of Infill Builders and California Lawyers Association hosted a webinar discussion on September 24th with outgoing director Ben Metcalf of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Director Metcalf discussed how California is tightening up local compliance requirements, lawsuits against cities not in compliance, and where state housing policy may go from here. Watch the recording here!


Become a Council of Infill Builders member today!

Hear what other members have to say in this video: