Partnership to exceed $500 million goal for housing fund
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.