Awards First “Challenge Grants” to Seven Bay Area Cities & Counties Leading Innovative Housing Efforts and $30 Million in Loans to Developers Producing and Preserving Affordable Homes
REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA, 11:30am, February 4, 2020 — Bay Area elected officials, community, faith, and business leaders, and philanthropic funders marked the first anniversary of the Partnership for the Bay’s Future by announcing the recipients of the Partnership’s first-ever “Challenge Grants” to seven Bay Area local governments and non-profit partner organizations that are developing innovative housing policies. The Partnership also announced commitments that will allow it to reach its $500M investment goal ahead of schedule and has already closed seven loans to entities building new affordable housing or preserving existing affordable homes.
The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is a unique cross-sector effort to tackle housing issues in the Bay Area with a dual-pronged approach: supporting policies that preserve and produce affordable housing and help protect renters through its Policy Fund, and directly investing in projects that will create more affordable homes for people of all backgrounds and races through its investment arm, the Bay’s Future Fund. The Partnership launched in 2019 with the ambitious goals of protecting 175,000 households over five years and preserving and producing more than 8,000 homes over the next decade in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties.
“The housing crisis requires bold action on multiple fronts and it requires that all sectors come to the table to drive new solutions—the government, the private sector, philanthropies, advocates, and faith leaders,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “The Partnership for the Bay’s Future and its multi-sector public-private approach reflects that—and will help move our state forward on one of the biggest issues we face.”
“All Californians deserve a place they can call home, where they feel a sense of belonging in their community, and where they can build a better future for themselves and their families regardless of their race or zip code, said San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell. “The Partnership for the Bay’s Future enables Bay Area communities to help residents live in homes they can afford through its focus on local policy change and investment in building and preserving affordable homes, as well as protecting renters.”
Challenge Grant Recipients: Protecting Renters and Preserving Affordable Homes
The Partnership’s first group of Challenge Grant recipients were on hand for today’s anniversary event. The grantees are local government entities and community organizations working to advance policy solutions to protect renters and preserve existing affordable housing:
- Alameda County and Resources for Community Development
- City of Berkeley and East Bay Community Law Center
- City of East Palo Alto and the East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organization (EPA CAN DO)
- City of Oakland and the Bay Area For All (BA4A) Preservation Table
- City of Palo Alto and SV@Home
- City of Redwood City and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
- City of San Jose and SOMOS Mayfair
Proposed policies are an innovative collection of approaches to the region’s housing problems, including new systems to provide renters and communities with the right to purchase affordable homes before they are sold to outside investors, ensure county-wide protections for renters, and establish new approaches to building community wealth. As part of the Challenge Grant award, each grantee jurisdiction has been matched with a mid-career fellow. The fellows will provide needed capacity and expertise to accelerate solutions, and grantees will have access to technical assistance and expert consultants to help them implement policy changes identified in the grant proposals.
Investing in Affordable Homes
The Partnership’s Bay’s Future Fund has garnered commitments from a spectrum of investors and partners who have pledged resources, including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, CZI, First Republic, San Francisco Foundation, Genentech, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and others. LISC, serving as fund manager, is partnering with Capital Impact Partners and the Corporation for Supportive Housing to co-invest additional resources. As one of the nation’s largest affordable housing investment funds, the Bay’s Future Fund is designed to address the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area with flexible, innovative financial products.
“Investors are connecting their capital to their values in order to make Bay Area housing more affordable and anchor economic opportunity throughout the region,” said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. “And, this is just the beginning. We have a robust pipeline of development projects, a committed lineup of local partners, and a diverse group of investors from health care, finance, technology, and philanthropy—all focused on ways to positively impact the housing outlook for families and to keep communities competitive.”
To date, the Bay’s Future Fund has closed seven loans totaling nearly $30 million that will produce or preserve more than 800 units of housing, providing shelter for 1800 individuals, 97 percent of which are affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income. These investments leverage an additional $100 million in funding from other sources. The transactions are supporting a range of housing strategies, including permanent supportive housing, co-living spaces, senior housing and housing that is affordable by design. Projects include new construction, renovation, and preservation.
“The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is uniquely positioned not only to bring flexible capital to the table to substantially grow the number of affordable homes in the region, but also to champion policies that will both increase housing and protect vulnerable renters,” said Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Director of Housing Affordability, Caitlyn Fox. ”While we’ve made notable progress, the work has just begun. The future of the Bay Area depends on collaborative efforts to ensure that people of all backgrounds and income levels can live, work, and thrive here.”
PARTNERSHIP FOR THE BAY’S FUTURE
Launched in early 2019 after more than a year of conversations with community and faith leaders, housing experts, elected officials, nonprofit and for-profit developers, business leaders, and residents, the Partnership focuses on advancing a more inclusive and equitable future for our region by solving its interconnected challenges: housing, transportation, and economic opportunity. The Partnership’s affordable housing efforts center around two key funding components. The first is the Bay’s Future Fund, managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the largest nonprofit community development financial institutions in the country. The fund was designed to address the funding gap that limits the ability of mission-aligned developers and other interested entities to obtain the capital necessary to create quality, affordable homes. Simultaneously, the Policy Fund, under the stewardship of the San Francisco Foundation, provides grants to Bay Area cities and counties, and their community partners, to enact local policies that protect renters and preserve and produce affordable housing.
The Partnership was founded with the initial support of the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Facebook, Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Stupski Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Additional information about the Partnership for the Bay’s Future, including file photography for media use, can be found here.