Part­ner­ship to ex­ceed $500 mil­lion goal for hous­ing fund

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - NEWS - By Marisa Ken­dall

Af­ter promis­ing last year to raise $500 mil­lion to build or pre­serve 8,000 homes around the Bay Area, on Tues­day a group of lo­cal tech lead­ers, non­prof­its and other stake­hold­ers said they’re on track to sur­pass that goal.

The Part­ner­ship for the Bay’s Fu­ture, funded by in­vestors in­clud­ing Face­book, Ge­nen­tech and the Sil­i­con Val­ley Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, had sought to raise the $500 mil­lion within three to five years. In­stead, its lead­ers say the fund should hit about $520 mil­lion by June — af­ter just a year and a half — sig­nal­ing sup­port for its regional ap­proach to solv­ing the hous­ing cri­sis.

“It’s off to a strong start,” said Mau­rice Jones, pres­i­dent and CEO of LISC, which man­ages the fund.

The fund al­ready has in­vested $30 mil­lion into seven projects in Alameda County that will pro­duce about 800 units of af­ford­able hous­ing. That in­cludes build­ing eight units on va­cant land owned by McGee Av­enue Bap­tist Church in Berke­ley, sav­ing 40 af­ford­able units near Oak­land’s Lake Merritt BART sta­tion that other­wise would have been sold to a mar­ket-rate de­vel­oper, and build­ing 46 units in Hay­ward — half of which will be for ex­tremely low­in­come renters.

Those projects should start break­ing ground in the next six to 12 months, Jones said, with more projects around the Bay Area to come.

The Part­ner­ship for the Bay’s Fu­ture launched in Jan­uary 2019 with big goals, $260 mil­lion in the bank, and much fan­fare. Priscilla Chan, co-founder of the Chan Zucker­berg Ini­tia­tive and wife of Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, gave a speech, along with sev­eral other prom­i­nent lo­cal fig­ures. Then the group went quiet, pub­li­ciz­ing noth­ing about its ef­forts for the rest of the year.

The part­ner­ship broke its si­lence Tues­day with an event in Red­wood City.

The group on Tues­day also re­leased a list of seven Bay Area ju­ris­dic­tions that will re­ceive fund­ing, tech­ni­cal sup­port and staff to com­plete var­i­ous policy projects aimed at ad­dress­ing their lo­cal hous­ing short­ages.

Ten ju­ris­dic­tions, in part­ner­ship with lo­cal com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, sub­mit­ted applicatio­ns. The win­ning pairs are: Alameda County and Re­sources for Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, Berke­ley and the East Bay Com­mu­nity Law Cen­ter, East Palo Alto and EPA CAN DO, Oak­land and the Bay Area For All Preser­va­tion Table, Palo Alto and [email protected], Red­wood City and the Le­gal Aid So­ci­ety of San Ma­teo County, and San Jose and SOMOS May­fair.

Each pair will re­ceive a grant of $220,000 over two years and a staffer from Pol­i­cyLink. With that help, they’ll be com­plet­ing projects rang­ing from en­forc­ing renter pro­tec­tions, to giv­ing renters a right of first re­fusal, to an­a­lyz­ing the racial im­pact of ex­ist­ing hous­ing pro­grams.

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