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Silicon Valley Tech Community Commits $500 Million to Fund Housing Crisis

A large group of technology and philanthropic foundations has announced multiple funds to help mitigate the crisis of housing affordability in the Bay Area. It's the second such effort announced already this year.
January 28, 2019, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A group of San Francisco Bay Area philanthropists has pledged to spend half a billion dollars to protect and expand affordable housing in the region," reports Emily Flitter.

Included in that group, and described as a "central player," is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Also contributing to the partnership are Morgan Stanley, Kaiser Permanente, Facebook, Genentech, the Ford Foundation, and more.

The so-called Partnership for the Bay’s Future will combat the region's housing affordability crisis by seeding an investment fund "to preserve housing for 175,000 families and add capacity for 8,000 new homes over the next decade through loans and other assistance to community groups."

According to the announcement of the new partnership, posted on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative website, the partnership is beginning with two funds: the Investment Fund and the Policy Fund. 

Similar to a plan announced by Microsoft to provide $500 million in funding for housing in the Seattle region, Partnership for the Bay's Future will devote most of its funding to loans—in this case funded through the Investment Fund, explained in more detail in the announcement:

The Investment Fund, poised to become one of the largest in the nation, will help to address the funding gap that limits the ability to preserve and produce affordable housing. This fund is managed by LISC—the largest nonprofit community development financial institution in the country—which has been investing in affordable housing, economic development, recreation and community space, and workforce programs in the Bay Area for nearly four decades. LISC is also partnering with national affordable housing experts Capital Impact Partners and the Corporation for Supportive Housing to originate investments out of the Fund. Morgan Stanley is also providing capital for the Fund.

The announcement also reports that the Investment Fund has confirmed its first transaction: a revolving line of credit to the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation.

The Policy Fund will provide grant funding on a smaller scale:

The Policy Fund will support initiatives to preserve and expand housing, with a strong focus on strengthening low-income tenant protections. The Policy Fund is led by the San Francisco Foundation and will be administered through two grant programs: Challenge Grants, which are larger awards to pursue ambitious, comprehensive protection and preservation solutions; and Breakthrough Grants, to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions that have the potential to develop affordable housing at scale. At the time of launch, the Policy Fund has secured almost $20 million for an intended $40 million for the Fund.

The Policy Fund already has $20 million toward a planned $40 million.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, January 24, 2019 in The New York Times
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