Feb 4, 2020 · 5 min read

Bay Area Housing Partnership Celebrates First Year Progress

Seven Bay Area Communities, Nonprofit Partners Win Grants to Drive Innovative Housing Policies; $30 Million in Loans Extended to Developers Producing & Preserving Affordable Homes

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REDWOOD CITY, CALIF — 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:

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, Kaiser Permanente, 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.”

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About the 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. Learn more about the Partnership for the Bay’s Future at www.baysfuture.org 

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