Striking a MATCH – A New Tool to Address Climate Change, Affordable Housing and Health

Thomas Tsun-Hung YeeSeptember 20, 20170 Comments

In a region where the average Angeleno pays 57% of their income in housing and transportation costs and homelessness has soared 23% since 2016, it’s ever more critical to provide low income families with affordable places to live. A brand new $75 million affordable housing loan program for Los Angeles County is coming online this month – Metro Affordable Transit Connected Housing (MATCH). This innovative partnership, years in the making between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and community partners working with the LA THRIVES network, will provide financing to preserve and expand affordable homes near high quality transit.

The Low Income Investment Fund is partnering in the MATCH program to advance our efforts to build equitable, healthy, resilient communities. We have joined with Metro, local foundations and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to provide the long-term, patient capital that is critical to supporting equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) in Los Angeles. “MATCH represents an innovative, multi-sector response to address the growing unaffordability and inequity of opportunity in the Los Angeles region,” said Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan, COO and EVP, Community Investment for LIIF. “The goals of the MATCH Fund align directly with the Low Income Investment Fund’s work to stabilize families, boost local economies and build more resilient communities.”

LIIF, along with our MATCH partners, expects these investments to help address the region’s worsening housing affordability and homelessness crisis by providing much needed acquisition and predevelopment financing for affordable housing. In addition, by targeting homes near transit, these investments aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing household reliance on personal cars. In addition, by living within walking and biking distance to convenient transit options, residents will have increased opportunities for physical activity and the potential to save money on monthly budgets.

In a region where the average Angeleno pays 57% of their income in housing and transportation costs and homelessness has soared 23% since 2016, it’s ever more critical to provide low income families with affordable places to live.

While public-private blended capital for community development is not a new concept, Metro’s investment reflects an emerging leadership among public transportation agencies to address social equity. With MATCH, LIIF builds on its long-standing commitment to supporting eTOD, which includes working with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments in the San Francisco Bay Area to launch the Bay Area Transit Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH Fund) in 2011. The TOAH Fund was one of the first products seeded by a public transit agency to invest in affordable housing and community facilities near transit hubs. MATCH reflects both an evolution in financing eTOD and today’s current market environment. TOAH focused on financing new development, but MATCH is structured in part to help developers acquire and secure existing low-rent apartments near transit to help stabilize neighborhoods and existing residents while preparing for future growth.

MATCH is a new tool being added to LA Metro’s toolkit approach to “Transit Oriented Communities,” initiated under the leadership of CEO Phil Washington to ensure Los Angeles’ low income core transit riders have opportunities to continue to live close to frequent, accessible transit. With Measure M accelerating the region’s already rapid expansion of the public transportation system, MATCH comes at a critical time for many households living in neighborhoods experiencing rising rents and displacement pressures.

The California Community Foundation, The California Endowment and the Weingart Foundation have combined to match Metro’s seed investment of $9 million approved in 2016 by Metro’s board. A consortium of CDFIs, comprised of LIIF, Enterprise Community Loan Fund and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, are providing leverage financing and will ensure that funds are deployed to high quality projects that will bring stability and improved health outcomes to Los Angeles County neighborhoods. The LA THRIVES network helped conceptualize and drive the development of the MATCH program. LA THRIVES partners led a foundational study in 2013 that provided Metro a detailed assessment of the nexus between affordable housing and public transportation as well as recommendations for policy and capital options.

Additional details about MATCH, including borrower and project eligibility, can be found on the newly launched website at