This week, we joined our partners at Facebook, LISC and the Partnership for the Bay’s Future to announce funding commitments to four new deeply affordable housing developments through the Community Housing Fund!
These four new deeply affordable developments will include roughly 500 affordable homes – more than half of which will be reserved for Extremely Low Income (ELI) families and individuals – and three of these new developments will be located right here in Santa Clara County.
Increasing the supply of affordable housing for ELI residents remains our most important strategy for preventing and ending homelessness. In Santa Clara County, there are only 29 affordable and available homes for every 100 ELI households, and 74% of ELI households spend more than half of their monthly income on rent and utilities. That’s why we must continue moving aggressively to develop more of this desperately-needed type of housing. Read more in our ELI Case Statement
“We know that the path to ending homelessness is by building more housing for extremely low-income households,” said Ray Bramson, Chief Operating Officer of Destination: Home. “Through the Community Housing Fund, we’ve demonstrated the catalytic impact that private funding can have in spurring the production of new homes for our lowest-income neighbors.”
The Critical Role of Private Funding
For decades, the Bay Area has failed to produce enough housing that is affordable to ELI residents. Almost all of the housing stock in the private market is out of reach for people at the lowest-income levels. Affordable housing developers have also traditionally shied away from including ELI units in their developments, given their higher costs and unique challenges that can come with incorporating homes for our lowest-income families and individuals. In fact, only 12% of the affordable housing units funded in 2018 with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (the country’s signature source of financing for affordable housing) were for ELI households.
That’s why Destination: Home has focused on growing our partnerships with the private sector to catalyze more resources to address this long-standing disparity.
In 2018, we launched the Supportive Housing & Innovation Fund to channel private investments toward jumpstarting ELI housing production. The fund was launched in partnership with Cisco, whose early leadership in this space included a groundbreaking $50 million philanthropic gift to seed the fund. In 2019, we received another $50 million philanthropic contribution from Apple as part of their broader $2.5 billion affordable housing commitment. Thanks to these generous contributions, we’ve used these flexible private dollars to break down barriers to ELI housing production.
Around the same time, Facebook was beginning to engage stakeholders as it was developing strategies for addressing the Bay Area’s housing crisis. Our ongoing conversations about the need to catalyze ELI housing production through the region – and a direct investment by Destination: Home to secure a portion of the new funding specifically for Santa Clara County – led to the creation of the Community Housing Fund. Launched late last year, the $150 million loan fund capitalizes affordable housing developments that include homes for ELI households. In addition to the four developments announced today, the Community Housing Fund continues to receive proposals and is well on its way to its goal of creating 2,000 new affordable homes.
The value of these private investments can’t be overstated.
PATH Ventures’ CEO, Joel John Roberts shared, “Facebook’s investment in affordable housing in the Silicon Valley has truly allowed us to work creatively, innovatively, and expediently to provide more housing for those most in need. PATH Ventures is grateful that, together, we are providing nearly one hundred affordable homes, nearly half of which will house individuals and families who previously experienced homelessness.”
Added Matt Franklin, President & CEO of MidPen Housing: “We needed a nimble, flexible loan that would enable us to acquire a valuable, transit-oriented property and we are thankful that CHF was able to step in to deploy funds quickly, thus making it possible for us to land bank this highly desirable property for a future development that will provide supportive housing and homes for extremely low-income families in an inclusive community.”
These efforts have demonstrated that it is possible to catalyze affordable housing production for our lowest-income residents. But we still have a long way to go. In order to scale our efforts to meet the huge need in the community, we need more private and philanthropic partners to step up and play a role in the development of deeply affordable housing.
By working together, we can ensure that every member of our community has a safe and stable home.