PRESS RELEASE:
$5 Million in Grants to Support Affordable Housing Solutions

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2022
Contact: Jordan Shapiro, jshapiro@sff.org, 415.269.0172

Grants support innovative affordable housing solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF) is pleased to announce $5 million in grants focused on advancing equitable housing policies. The Breakthrough Grants support eleven government entities in the Bay Area with over $500,000 each. The grants span June 2022 – May 2024 and will focus on developing and advancing policies that preserve and produce affordable housing.  

Each government entity will partner with one or more community organizations to ensure that the community voices who are often left out of the process are represented when developing local housing policies. A housing policy fellow is also embedded in each entity to provide expertise on community-driven policy and act as a catalyst to advance policy innovation.

Breakthrough Grant Awardees

  • City of Antioch in partnership with Multi-Faith Action and Hope Solutions
  • Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) in partnership with Urban Habitat, Bay Area Community Land Trust, and Unity Council
  • City of Berkeley in partnership with Healthy Black Families
  • Contra Costa Housing Authority in partnership with Richmond Our Power Coalition, Community Housing Development Corporation, and Richmond LAND
  • City of East Palo Alto in partnership with East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organization, Youth United for Community Action, Community Legal Services, and Preserving Affordable Housing Assets Longterm, Inc.
  • City of Mountain View in partnership with Silicon Valley at Home and Housing Trust Silicon Valley
  • City of Oakland in partnership with Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services
  • City of Richmond in partnership with Richmond LAND
  • City of San Francisco in partnership with Urban Land Institute
  • City of San Jose in partnership SOMOS Mayfair
  • City of South San Francisco in partnership with Housing Leadership Council

“It gives us great hope to invest in inspiring and innovative housing solutions coming from our local leaders,” said Aysha Pamukcu, Policy Fund Initiative Officer for the Partnership for the Bay’s Future. “When we started Partnership for the Bay’s Future in 2019, it was with the belief that everyone deserves a comfortable and affordable place to live, and it’s so encouraging to see that those with the power to make change share that belief.” 

The Breakthrough Grantees’ policy proposals will address the disproportionate impact the lack of affordable homes has on households of color – 60% of Black households and 55% of Latino households face rent burdens (housing costs exceed 30% of income) in the Bay Area – through focusing on racial equity and economic inclusion. Proposals included equity platforms, community-led equity committees and a reparations framework. Several jurisdictions introduced home ownership opportunities through community land trusts, co-ops and Community or Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Acts (COPA/TOPA). Other visionary plans included supporting emerging BIPOC developers, leveraging unused faith-based organization land and enabling land trusts to acquire land. Find the full list of policy proposals here. 

Building on Success of Challenge Grants 

Launched in March 2020, PBF’s first program, the Challenge Grants, was the first of its kind in the Bay Area. These grantees and partners have proven that the policy process is more effective and inclusive through collaboration. One example is the City of Berkeley, which spent 18 months developing the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, an anti-displacement policy that gives tenants options to buy the property they rent when it goes up for sale. Because they were also a part of the Partnership for the Bay’s Future, the Cities of San Jose, East Palo Alto and Oakland were all able to learn from Berkeley and design similar policies in four months or less and will be voting on these in the next few months. 

“When we were awarded a Challenge Grant, the fellow we received truly bolstered our capacity to address some of the root causes of the affordability crisis in Berkeley,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “She provides critical support to our policy priorities and partnership with community organizations.” 

The Breakthrough Grants is administered by the San Francisco Foundation, which also co-manages PBF along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation Bay Area (LISC). PBF is also partnering with Coro Northern California, which serves as the employer of record for the Breakthrough Grants Fellows, and Enterprise Community Partners, which serves as the housing content expert, technical assistance provider and network supporter.  

Applications for the Breakthrough Grants Fellowship are now being accepted. Equity-minded, affordable housing policy experts are encouraged to apply for this two-year, full-time, salaried position. Coro Northern California is leading the search and accepting applications here.