Packard Foundation awards $2.25 million grant to tackle affordable housing crisis


Alliance magazine


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced that it will award $2.25 million in grants to catalyze creative solutions to the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area, California.

$1.5 million in grants has been awarded to Silicon Valley at Home and $750,000 in grants to the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

According to The Giving Code – a report the Foundation commissioned to learn more about urgent community needs and the region’s nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystems—nonprofit leaders put housing at the top of urgent issues facing the region. Silicon Valley rents increased 27 per cent since 2011, bringing them up 227 per cent higher than the national average. To afford a Silicon Valley apartment at a fair market rate, a renter would have to earn over $94,000 a year, 4.7 times the annual income of a minimum wage earner in the region. In 2015, the median sale price for a house in Silicon Valley was $830,361, and in some areas, two to three times that amount.

“The severe lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area is having a deep and profound impact on people in our region,” said Irene Wong, Director of the Local Grantmaking Program at the Packard Foundation. “The mounting crisis alongside our deep connection with and concern for our local communities compelled us to make affordable housing grants for the first time.”

The new grants complement the Packard Foundation’s July 2017 $5 million mission investment to the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, to provide loans to affordable housing developers with the goal of creating 10,000 affordable homes in the next decade.

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