El Cerrito lands $20 million for climate-friendly homes near BART

Plaza BART Station
Rendering courtesy of the City of El Cerrito.

By Kathy Chouteau

The City of El Cerrito has received a $20 million grant for transit-oriented development and affordable housing from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

As one of seven grant recipient communities statewide, El Cerrito will use the funding to support transit-oriented development (TOD) at its Plaza BART Station with capital improvement projects supporting affordable housing infrastructure, site preparation and improved bike and pedestrian improvements, per the City.

Together, the planned investments align with the project’s overall aims of providing more high-quality affordable housing units, close to transit, in walkable neighborhoods. The City said that the grant funding looks to further propel the City of El Cerrito’s previous progress reducing barriers to housing development via the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan and meeting the community’s housing goals.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the funding awards in late August, with the objective of addressing the major costs of infill housing and supporting the development of 3,200 affordable and 2,150 market-rate homes across the seven funded communities. HCD is providing $239 million in overall funding as part of the Infill Infrastructure Grant Catalytic (IIG-C) program, said the City.

Joining El Cerrito in receiving the HCD funding as part of the IIG-C Program, are: The City and County of San Francisco ($45 million); the City of San Diego ($45 million); the City of Fresno ($45 million); the City of Oakland ($40 million); the City of Santa Rosa ($9 million); and the Housing Authority of Los Angeles ($35 million).

El Cerrito Mayor Lisa Motoyama said that the City is one of a small number of jurisdictions in the state that have earned a Prohousing Designation. “The $20 million grant from the state shows that we are leading the way in reducing barriers to housing production.”