The development of the new rail system will stimulate economic development opportunities adjacent to and
surrounding a number of the new rail stations. Particularly in urban metro settings, proximity to rail drives
up property values and can lead to significant gentrification. Ironically, this can have the impact of
decreasing rail ridership. Lower income populations are typically a more highly transit dependent
population than the upper income populations which replace them. It is critical, as a result, to plan well in
advance policy measures that will assure “equitable development” adjacent to and surrounding the new rail
stations, particularly those located in urban metro settings.
1. Designate or acquire specific sites near new rail stations for affordable housing development:
By designating specific sites near rail stations for affordable housing, the City can create an
“affordability anchor” that ensures a degree of economic diversity near rail stations.
 Dedicate public surplus lands to affordable housing: The City can implement a policy to
dedicate undeveloped or underutilized surplus property surrounding new rail stations and rail
lines to affordable housing development, particularly the sites that the rail authority acquires
and then uses to stage the construction of the rail line and rail stations.
 Create a TOD Affordable Housing Land Bank: The City should consider using existing
affordable housing funds to acquire sites near new rail stations for the purposes of creating badly
needed housing for people making 120% of median income and below.
 Fund neighborhood level engagement in the TOD planning process: The city should use project
dollars to fund community based groups to engage the neighborhood residents near the new rail
station sites to engage in rail station planning process. In built out urban environments, creating
community asset maps would be an important step to ensure that critical community assets are
preserved, and it would also help to identify asset gaps around the route stops. This process can
help decide where affordable housing should be sited in relation to rail stations.
2. Create Transit Oriented Development Zones around new rail stations to help finance
affordable housing development: Property values surrounding rail stations will likely see
significant increases relative to the rest of the area. To a large extent, these increases will be driven
by the rail which is a publicly funded project. There is a strong public policy justification to
implement policies within areas surrounding the new rail station to capture back some of this
increased land value in order to fund public benefits like infrastructure development and affordable
 TOD Tax Increment Financing: Create “redevelopment zones” surrounding rail stations by
dedicating increases in property tax values from surrounding areas to fund improvements
specifically in those areas. Require that enough of the TIF (at least 20% and perhaps as much as
50%) go toward financing affordable housing development – as well as preservation of existing
affordable housing near transit stations. Use the TIF to offset the gentrification that will follow
the site of the new rail stops.

 Strengthen Inclusionary Zoning (Unilateral Agreements): Strengthen inclusionary zoning
requirements within areas surrounding rail lines. It would be particularly critical to significantly
increase inclusionary in lieu fees and dedicate those fees to a TOD affordable housing
production fund. In San Francisco, developers currently pay between $350,000 to $400,000 per
unit to “fee out.”
 TOD Project Section 8: Partner with the state housing authority and HUD to designate a portion
of the state’s allocated project section 8 funding to finance affordable housing development
within the TOD zones.
3. Protect populations and small businesses near the rail line and rail stations that are risk of
displacement: Many of the low-income and working class households in the rail line “right of
way” are at high risk of displacement. These populations, many of whom have anchored the
existing neighborhoods, should not be displaced just as significant public benefits are coming in.
 Provide direct displacees of the rail project a “right to return”: Often, the construction process
will necessitate residential and commercial displacement. These displacees should be provided
with a “right of first refusal” at future developments on public surplus sites within the vicinity of
the rail line and stations, including future affordable housing development.
 Use local match project dollars to supplement the Uniform Relocation Act relocation subsidy:
For those who will be directly displaced, the federal government will require the rail project to
provide them with 42 months of a relocation subsidy. Often, 42 months is insufficient resulting
in legal challenges by the displacees. The rail project should work with the FTA early on in the
process to identify local match project funds that may be used to supplement the mandatory 42
month. The rail project should also identify similar funds to create a small business construction
impact fund.
 Implement an affordable housing acquisition and rehabilitation conversion program: The city
should dedicate a portion of any affordable housing funds generated from TOD value capture to
fund rehabilitation of existing buildings near rail stations occupied by a majority of low-income
residents. As a condition of accepting city money for building rehab, the building owners must
impose affordability restrictions on the building for the duration of the loans, effectively
converting the building into affordable housing.

FACE HAWAII (Faith Action for Community Equity) is a 15 year old faith and community based
organization that seeks to project values into the public square. We join our voices to the political, civic,
business and labor leaders who work for the good of the people of Hawaii. We are based on the islands of
Oahu and Maui.