PRESS RELEASE:
New Tool Tracks Bay Area Cities’ Progress Towards Meeting Their Affordable Housing Needs

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

The Housing Readiness Report evaluates cities’ affordable housing progress and provides numerous ways for residents to advocate for their communities’ needs.

The Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF) is pleased to announce the Housing Readiness Report, an affordable housing tool that provides Bay Area housing advocates with data, resources and tools to track, monitor and engage in their cities’ housing plans and policies to ensure equitable racial and economic outcomes.

How Cities Are Assessed
The Housing Readiness Report was developed to provide easy-to-read details on how impactful the housing crisis is to the Bay Area’s most vulnerable communities and how ready each city is to tackle the crisis. “Housing Readiness,” – a city’s potential ability to increase affordable housing for its most vulnerable populations – is assessed using the following metrics:

  • Local needs: The demographics of an existing city’s population and the percentage of that population who are burdened by rent are assessed to determine housing needs. 
  • Affordable housing production: The city’s capacity and willingness to reach affordable housing unit goals as set by Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), especially in relation to meeting its existing population demographics. 
  • Housing policies: The number of housing policies and the potential impact of each policy that a city has enacted to protect tenants, and preserve and produce affordable housing. 

“When we began developing this tool,” said Khanh Russo, VP of Policy and Innovation at San Francisco Foundation, “we knew that it needed to be viewed through an equitable lens. All the housing data in the Bay Area shows that Black, Latinx and Native American communities are hit the hardest by increasing housing costs – they spend the highest percentage of their income on rent and as a result are displaced at the highest rates. We knew we had to create a tool that not only raises awareness of this, but also provides a way for people to take part in solving this problem.” 

The Community’s Role
Throughout California, cities are developing policies and programs as well as finding land to develop low-income to market-rate housing to meet their RHNA goals. These local housing plans are developed every eight years and are called the Housing Elements, which also, by law, must include community input. Nobody knows more about the challenges a community faces than the people who live there, so The Housing Readiness Report was timed to be released during this planning process to involve community members and ensure their voices are heard. 

The Housing Readiness Report collected trusted resources from across the Bay Area and assembled them in a way to make it easy for people to get involved in the Housing Elements process. It guides the community members and housing advocates through numerous ways to make an impact, whether they have just 5 minutes, an hour or more to address their community’s needs.  

“We have a once-in-a-decade chance to address current housing problems, invest in our communities, and create better housing options for all,” said Amie Fishman, Executive Director at Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. “Coming together and speaking up now is the only way to make sure that cities prioritize strong, thriving, equitable communities in this process to set the future for our neighborhoods.” 

Phase 1 of the Report
This release of the Housing Readiness Report was funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and is a beta project and the first phase of releases. This phase evaluated 11 cities – including all of the Bay Area’s largest cities – all of which are grantees of PBF’s Policy Grants program, which expedited collecting data. This is a long-term project and plans include expanding the list of cities and adding features in the next phase.

Visit the Housing Readiness Tool at housingreadinessreport.org.

Get Trained
Community members, housing advocates, policymakers and anyone else who is interested in the Housing Readiness Report is invited to attend a training session for the tool on Tuesday, August 23, 10:00 – 11:00 am. Register at bit.ly/HousingReadinessTraining.

About the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)
Every eight years, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) develops RHNA goals – a set number of new homes and how affordable those homes need to be that regions must build in order to meet local housing needs of people at all income levels. Once the regional RHNA goals are set, each region’s “council of governments” (in the Bay Area, this is the Association of Bay Area Governments) allocates the housing needs amongst all cities and counties within the region. If cities and counties do not meet these housing goals, they will not receive certain types of state funding. 

About Partnership for the Bay’s Future
PBF is an innovative and collaborative effort guided by racial equity and economic inclusion to protect tenants in affordable homes while preserving and producing affordable homes to meet the region’s needs. PBF is composed of the Policy Grants supporting the creation and implementation of policies to stem the tide of displacement of vulnerable tenants and preserving affordable housing, and the Family of Loan Funds focused which invests in increasing the supply of affordable homes. The Housing Readiness Report is one of many tools PBF is developing to advance housing justice in the Bay Area; other tools include:

About Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
CZI was founded to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges – from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities – to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. Across its focus areas – science, education, community and alongside its Justice & Opportunity Partners – CZI pairs technology with grantmaking, impact investing, and collaboration to help accelerate the pace of progress towards an equitable future. 

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