In an op-ed for The Mercury News, Elliot Schrage, a VP with Facebook, and LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones describe how the combination of well-oiled partnerships, sufficient capital and supportive legislation is the key to making inroads in the Bay Area's housing crisis—which is what a new $500 million fund and collaboration called Partnership for the Bay’s Future strives to achieve. Quoting Matthew Desmond's influential book "Evicted," the authors emphasize how urgent this work is for the health of our society and economy: without a stable, safe home, "everything else falls apart."
The excerpt below was originally published on The Mercury News:
Partnership seeks to ease Bay Area housing crisis
By Maurice A. Jones and Elliot Schrage
Vibrant, innovative and diverse, the Bay Area attracts talented people from all over the world. The future is invented here. But the region’s remarkable successes have created undeniable — and unavoidable — problems. Gentrification makes housing less affordable and less accessible. Infrastructure improvements have not kept pace with need. Public policies and plans to deal with these challenges have failed to deliver. People across the region pay almost three times as much of their income on housing compared to the national average. That’s unacceptable. It puts our future at risk.
Tomorrow’s success depends on policies that restore social mobility — a hallmark of this region for over 35 years. We must rethink how best to protect and preserve local communities even as this region strives to create innovative opportunities for new growth.
Thursday’s announcement of the new Partnership for the Bay’s Future is a hopeful sign that government, business and civil society are serious about change. Our work is built on years of earnest conversations with community and faith leaders, housing and transportation experts, elected officials, residents, big and small-businesses leaders and philanthropists from across the region. We’re committed to strengthening livability across the region, beginning with the housing crisis. We recognize the interconnected challenges of housing, transportation and economic opportunity; however, a sharper focus will likely yield better outcomes.
The partnership’s mandate emphasizes three P’s: protecting current residents so they can remain in their homes, preserving affordable housing, and producing more housing across all income levels. Each of the founding organizations, including the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Facebook, Genentech, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are committed to this vision.
Founding partners have secured more than $250 million of a $500 million investment fund to accomplish this in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. This fund will be one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
For additional information on the Investment Fund that LISC is managing, please contact BaysFuture@lisc.org.