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Facebook allocates $150m for building affordable houses in California’s Bay Area

Facebook allocates $150m for building affordable houses in California’s Bay Area
Wednesday 9 December , 2020
By Marwa Nassar - -

Facebook earmarked $150 million of its $1 billion affordable housing commitment to build housing for the Bay Area’s lowest-income residents. 

This new Community Housing Fund will support the development of at least 2,000 affordable homes, making it California’s largest private fund dedicated to creating housing for extremely low-income families — families that are making less than 30% of our region’s median income.

Since Facebook committed $1 billion to help address the affordable housing crisis one year ago, this work has only become more imperative as the pandemic has heightened the challenges for people already struggling with the cost of housing.

“Homekey has fundamentally changed the way California creates housing for the homeless — faster than ever before and at a significantly lower cost. Facebook has stepped up to invest in success, making up to $150 million available for low-interest loans to local governments and nonprofits to buy hundreds more units to create permanent housing. This investment is part of Facebook’s $1 billion commitment they announced last year — and there is no better time to put this money to work. The COVID crisis demands we all step up and do more to protect the most vulnerable. I challenge other private sector corporations to follow suit and provide additional low-cost capital to create thousands more homeless housing units all across California.”  said California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Investing in extremely low-income housing is critical to addressing homelessness, as people who qualify as extremely low-income are the most vulnerable to slipping into homelessness. Many essential workers — who we’ve all relied on through this pandemic — also depend on extremely low-income housing so they can live and attend school in the communities where they work.

This fund will help fill a critical gap in California, where there is an immense shortage of extremely low-income housing and very few dedicated funding streams to build it.

Facebook has the opportunity to help bridge this gap by working with partners in the community to  support those most impacted by the housing crisis. The fund will be managed by the Local Initiative Support Corporation, the largest community development organization in the country. Destination: Home, a nonprofit organization leading efforts to end homelessness in Santa Clara County, is also contributing an additional $5 million to the fund.

An advisory board of these core partners, and community members who have personal experience with homelessness, will oversee the fund’s investments.

Facebook will fund a First Community Housing project in San Jose, California, which will offer 123 deeply affordable apartments. The apartments will include onsite supportive services near public transit, where all residents will receive a free, annual VTA SmartPass providing free bus and light rail access throughout Santa Clara County.

Facebook expects to fund at least five projects across the eligible counties in the next 12 months and plan to distribute all $150 million by 2026.

This effort is the direct result of collaborations with key partners to fund effective, permanent supportive housing models, to increase the availability of affordable housing for extremely low-income families, and address the disproportionate number of people of color experiencing homelessness in the Bay Area.

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