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Partnership for the Bay's Future, in Close-Up

An article in the Bay Area magazine Gentry takes a careful look at how Partnership for the Bay's Future, LISC's collaboration with the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Genentech, the Ford Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and others is tackling the region's extreme affordable housing shortage, alongside transportation access and economic opportunity. “Housing has to be considered everybody's challenge and everybody's opportunity,”  says LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones in the piece. That collective ownership and the diversity of sectors in the partnership “are the only way we're really going to make true progress.” 

The excerpt below is from:
A Way Home
By Jennifer Massoni Pardini, Gentry Magazine

In one way or another, each of us has been affected by the Bay Area’s unprecedented rise in mortgage and rental costs. We endure long commutes to work because our homes are farther from where we work, we struggle with employee retention because of the soaring costs of local living, or we notice that our neighbors are no longer teachers or artists or anyone struggling to get by even on the median household income in much of the Bay Area: north of $96,000, according to 2016 Pew data. The pace of change has been exponential. In recent reporting, The Mercury News – East Bay Times broke down some of the harrowing statistics in “The Price We Pay,” showing that while homes in 41% percent of Bay Area neighborhoods were deemed “affordable” on an equivalent annual income in 2012, only 18% were in 2018. When it came to rent affordability, the numbers plummeted from 70% to just 28%. And each of these scenarios also factors in our exceptional good fortune to live and work here at all.

No matter how it touches our lives, our regional housing crisis—and related strain on transportation conduits and worsening economic disparity—is here. In January, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a $1.75-billion investment in low- and middle-income housing production. According to a recent poll from PPIC, Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, “two-thirds of Californians—a record high—say housing affordability is a big problem in their region,” and “seven in 10 support Governor Newsom’s spending plan.”

To at least some degree, we are all aware of the problem. So, too, are the 10 partners and numerous conceptual contributors to a coalition-backed network of solutions launched on January 24: The Partnership for the Bay’s Future. This regional publicprivate housing partnership is the culmination of over two years of conversations among local leaders in business, philanthropy, and community, including faith-based organizations, housing advocates, elected officials, as well as residents, all assessing the problem, but also—as a powerful collective—propos-ing real answers for the “interconnected challenges of housing, transportation, and economic opportunity,” as the Partnership puts forth.

With the support of the San Francisco Foundation (SFF), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Ford Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Facebook, Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), the Partnership has established two funds: an Investment Fund, managed by LISC, and a Policy Fund, managed by SFF. Those entities will work in tandem to deliver on “the three P’s” at the center of the Partnership’s agenda: Protection, Preservation, and Production. In brief, this means the protection of tenant rights initially across five Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco; the preservation of low- and middleincome housing that already exists; and the production of additional housing units. “We’re hopeful this becomes a model for a much more expansive point of view as well,” says San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell.

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