Housing Affordability

Everyone deserves a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. We’re working to improve housing affordability and access so people from all backgrounds and income levels can live, work, and thrive in California and beyond.

A New Narrative To Engage Californians on Housing Affordability

A unifying, in-depth narrative framework can help advance efforts to improve housing affordability — and foster stronger collaboration between advocates. CZI’s Public Opinion & Survey Science and Housing Affordability teams have identified an evidence-based narrative framework that advocates can leverage to create a sustained movement for housing reform.

Learn more about this unifying narrative and a new website toolkit that is designed to support California’s housing advocates as they work to build greater support for affordable housing solutions.

Support for Innovative Housing Finance Approaches

Amid a significant housing shortage across California, state officials estimate we need to build 2.5M new homes — including 40% at below market rate — by 2030. Some of the challenges in producing and preserving housing include the high cost of construction and land, barriers to financing newer models of housing, and insufficient funding for affordable housing.

Innovative financing plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges by increasing access to capital, reducing financing costs, and piloting new methods to housing development. The Innovative Housing Finance Request for Applications (RFA), now closed, will invest in funds that enable new approaches to financing the production and/or preservation of housing in California. By investing in funds held by intermediaries, CZI aims to support the ecosystem of mission-driven lenders and advance financing solutions that build on initial demonstrations to scale their impact and catalyze meaningful progress toward California’s housing goals.

Housing Research

Research is a critical backbone for CZI’s housing work. As housing affordability issues continue to evolve, we support the knowledge landscape in order to ensure policymakers, advocates, investors, and communities at large can operate with evidence and expert guidance. Our research portfolio aims to affect policy change, advocacy efforts, and encourage programming and investment at the institutional scale.

Read more about our learnings, featured research partners, and (current) research studies.

Program Spotlight: Partnership for the Bay’s Future

Together with Bay Area community leaders, housing experts, elected officials, and residents, we launched the Partnership for the Bay’s Future in 2019 with the goal of developing creative and effective responses to some of our region’s most formidable challenges. This public-private partnership, which is centered on addressing policy change and investing in affordable housing, has made significant progress in the first five years of the partnership, including the protection of over 73,000 tenants and financing over 4,400 homes for 11,000 people throughout the Bay Area.

Our Approach

Produce, Preserve, Protect, Prevent: We believe housing affordability can be improved by producing more housing, preserving existing housing, protecting residents from displacement and preventing homelessness.

Stylized "Building Sustainable Supply" icon of a large list, flanked by two houses (CZI Housing Affordability).

Building Sustainable Supply

The need for housing far exceeds available housing. We invest in efforts like the Partnership for the Bay’s Future to produce more housing across income levels, preserve existing housing to make communities stronger and more affordable, and support policy reform to reduce housing development costs and time.

Stylized "Enabling Equitable Access" icon of a house containing a large key (CZI Housing Affordability).

Enabling Equitable Access

Discrimination and unequal access to housing have contributed to displacement and prevented people from finding homes that meet their needs. We partner with community-led organizations, and support legislation and research that protect residents’ rights and helps guide them on new pathways to homeownership.

Stylized "Building Political and Public Will" icon of a handshake (CZI Housing Affordability).

Building Political and Public Will

The individuals and organizations closest to the challenges drive real solutions. We help foster cross-sector collaboration by bringing tech, philanthropy, and advocacy groups together to build long-lasting political and public will to change laws, policies, and narratives that improve access to housing. These collaborations will create a sustained movement for housing reform.

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