This past year has been one of extraordinary challenges and hardships for many in our community. It was a year that prompted all of us to reflect on the value of home — home as a place of safety, stability, and sanctuary. As a collaborative initiative focused on producing, preserving, and protecting affordable homes in the San Francisco Bay area, the Partnership for the Bay’s Future found our work more pressing, as more families in the Bay Area struggled to find and stay in homes they could afford.
We recently marked our second anniversary at the Partnership for the Bay’s Future. Anniversaries for organizations like ours are muted events in the midst of a pandemic, but they are still a time to take stock of progress and map where we still need to go.
While the pandemic compelled us to adjust to new ways of virtual collaboration, our Partnership proved to be adaptive and resilient, and our investment in producing new and preserving and rehabilitating existing affordable homes in the Bay Area continued apace. In the last year, the Partnership’s Bay’s Future Fund closed seven deals that will produce new housing for 492 individuals and families and financed eight deals that kept housing affordable for more than 460 individuals and families. And in December 2020, our partner Facebook and Destination: Home announced the launch of the Community Housing Fund, the latest member of our family of loan funds dedicated to investment in producing and preserving affordable homes for Bay Area residents with extremely low incomes.
This short highlight video provides greater detail on our work.
The Partnership is also about advancing policies to protect Bay Area renters vulnerable to displacement and eviction. Our Challenge Grant cohort, which began its work just over a year ago, continues to lay the groundwork for equitable housing policy throughout the Bay Area, working with government and community-based organizations across the region.
To make our work more transparent for all audiences, including and especially prospective new partners looking to work with us, we have refreshed the Partnership website, adding new features to make it easier to track our progress and learn how to collaborate with us. For example, check out the new impact map on our home page, which allows you to see our latest news from each of the five Bay Area counties where we are currently working.
Visit the Who We Are page to get to know our Partnership team and to see a timeline of our milestones to date. And visit The Work page to learn more about our family of loan funds if you are a developer interested in building or preserving affordable homes. If you are interested in changing housing policy in our region, you can learn about future grant funding opportunities from our Policy Fund.
The urgency of our work — to create a Bay Area where diverse people from all walks of life can afford to live and thrive — has only grown as pandemic-related income and job loss magnified our region’s housing affordability challenges. A recent 2021 Bay Area Equity Atlas study estimated that 137,500 Bay Area households, or approximately 11 percent of the region’s renter households, are currently behind on rent and at risk of eviction unless new renter protections are implemented. The study found that rent indebtedness in the Bay Area hits low-wage workers and people of color the hardest — nearly 8 in 10 households behind on rent earn less than $75,000 a year, and 90 percent of at-risk renters are people of color.
The Bay Area Equity Atlas analysis looked at the nine-county Bay Areas. Still, the overwhelming majority of at-risk households identified — 113,966, or nearly 83 percent — are in the five counties where the Partnership for the Bay’s Future’s work and investment are focused.
It will take all of us, across different sectors and communities, working together to meet the challenges before us, and we know that this year — the Partnership’s third year — is a critical one. We hope you will join our movement to create a more resilient and equitable Bay Area.