Partnership for the Bay’s Future taps PolicyLink—national research and advocacy leader—to manage new fellowship program

With twenty years of experience in the Bay Area, PolicyLink brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to program to enact housing protection and preservation policies by placing fellows in local governments

 

October 17, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the San Francisco Foundation announced the selection of PolicyLink to manage the fellowship program for the Partnership for the Bay’s Future. This groundbreaking grant program will support transformational policy solutions to the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

Through its Policy Fund, the Partnership for the Bay’s Future supports initiatives to preserve and expand housing, with a strong focus on strengthening protections for low-income tenants. The Policy Fund, led by the San Francisco Foundation, will feature two grant programs: Challenge Grants, awards to local governments to pursue ambitious protection and preservation policy solutions; and Breakthrough Grants, to support jurisdictions with a desire to develop affordable housing at scale.

A key feature of the Challenge Grants is the placement of an early- to mid-career fellow in each winning jurisdiction. Fellows will increase the jurisdiction’s capacity to accelerate solutions. Fellows and their jurisdictions will receive peer cohort and technical support to help them implement policy change.

“We are pleased to be working with PolicyLink on the fellowship program for the Partnership for the Bay’s Future Challenge Grants,” said Dee Dee Brantley, COO of the San Francisco Foundation. “PolicyLink brings a wealth of knowledge to this program and a strong history of working to advance racial equity and in the field of affordable housing.”

A $500,000 grant will support PolicyLink in managing the two-year Challenge Grant fellowship program. PolicyLink will recruit, hire, train, and support the cohort of fellows for the first round of Challenge Grants, which will be awarded in January 2020. PolicyLink will receive pass-through funds from the Partnership to cover the fellows’ salaries.

PolicyLink has trained and placed equity-focused fellows in local and federal government agencies to address disaster recovery, sustainable development, housing solutions, and economic development; developed cross-city and interregional cohorts of elected and appointed officials to address equitable development; and provided hundreds of consultations and partnerships with city leaders in the evolution of equity profiles, policy roadmaps, anti-displacement and housing policy agendas.

PolicyLink also brings extensive expertise in advancing housing solutions within a racial equity framework, including the federal Sustainable Communities Initiative and the advancement of new federal and local HUD frameworks to assess and address fair housing and anti-displacement outcomes.

“We see these fellows as transformative change agents who will support local leaders in moving bold solutions that create more affordable housing, reduce the displacement of lower-and middle-income households, and address homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing,” said Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink. “Together, PolicyLink and the Partnership for the Bay’s Future will reach our housing goals and transform the lives of the region’s people for generations to come.”

Applications for the fellowship program are now open. View fellow position description.

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About the Partnership for the Bay’s Future

The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is a collaborative effort, developed through years of conversations with community and faith leaders, housing experts, elected officials, nonprofit and for-profit developers, and residents. The Partnership focuses on advancing a more inclusive and equitable future for our region by solving its interconnected challenges: housing, transportation, and economic opportunity. Partners include the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford FoundationLocal Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)FacebookGenentechKaiser Permanente, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Stupski Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

 

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McGee Avenue Baptist Church, Historic Black Church in California, Launches Affordable Housing Units With $1 Million Grant from City of Berkeley

PRESS RELEASE: Partnership for the Bay’s Future Launches Challenge Grants Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 20, 2019

CONTACT

Maru Becker, Vice President, GMMB: Maru.Becker@gmmb.com, (206) 694-1924

Partnership for the Bay’s Future Launches Challenge Grants Program

Bay Area communities pursuing ambitious, comprehensive tenant protection and housing preservation solutions to apply

SAN FRANCISCO — The Partnership for the Bay’s Future has announced the launch of its inaugural Challenge Grants for Protection and Preservation (“Challenge Grants”). This program, managed by the San Francisco Foundation with total funding of nearly $4 million, is a competitive process between Bay Area towns, cities and counties interested in catalyzing policy change to protect vulnerable tenants and preserve existing affordable housing. Up to ten jurisdictions will be selected to be a part of the two-year program. Applications may be submitted at https://www.baysfuture.org/challenge-grant-rfp.

“We are excited to announce and manage these first Challenge Grants on behalf of the Partnership for the Bay’s Future,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. “Housing affordability and stability is an issue for everyone in the Bay Area, and it is particularly acute for communities of color and those who are low-income. This program is a vital first step in delivering housing security and a more equitable and inclusive economy for all.”

Challenge Grants will be made from the Policy Fund, which together with the Investment Fund, launched earlier this year through the Partnership for the Bay’s Future, a cross-sector collaboration to help address the region’s housing affordability crisis.

“These Challenge Grants take aim at some of the root causes of the Bay’s housing affordability crisis, by protecting tenants and preserving the existing supply of homes,” said Caitlyn Fox, Director of Justice & Opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “We are proud to support this opportunity to help local governments, who are on the front lines of addressing this crisis, step up their efforts to foster vibrant, inclusive communities in the Bay Area.”

Challenge Grants: Overview and Application Process

Jurisdictions that propose the most high-impact, yet realistically achievable plans, will be selected to be a part of the program. Within this period, awardee jurisdictions will receive a capacity building and technical assistance package to pass and begin implementing protection and preservation policies. The package will include:

  • An early to mid-career fellow to increase capacity for this work;
  • Peer cohort support for regional impact;
  • Preferential status when applying for flexible capital from the Partnership’s Investment Fund, and;
  • Access to technical assistance.

Challenge Grants are open to towns, cities and counties in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara that are currently experiencing, or at risk of experiencing displacement or exclusion of low-income and people of color communities.

The San Francisco Foundation will accept applications from town, city and county departments that play a lead role in housing, planning, community development or other relevant areas. Applications featuring creative cross-departmental and town/city/county partnerships are also acceptable.

Challenge Grant applications are due on August 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST.

After receiving applications, The San Francisco Foundation will conduct three rounds of review, including participation from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future’s Advisory Board, followed by site visits with select jurisdictions to interview staff, electeds and community partners central to the effort. Awardees will be announced in November 2019.

Challenge Grants are made possible by the Policy Fund, administered by the San Francisco Foundation. Guided by a diverse Advisory Board, which includes investors from the philanthropic and corporate sectors, public sector and policy experts, as well as community leaders, the Policy Fund will support initiatives that strengthen low-income tenant protections and preserve and expand affordable housing.

View the complete Request for Proposals and apply for a Challenge Grant: https://www.baysfuture.org/challenge-grant-rfp.

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PARTNERSHIP FOR THE BAY’S FUTURE

The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is a collaborative effort, developed through years of conversations with community and faith leaders, housing experts, elected officials, nonprofit and for-profit developers, and residents. The Partnership focuses on advancing a more inclusive and equitable future for our region by solving its interconnected challenges: housing, transportation, and economic opportunity. Partners include the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Facebook, Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Stupski Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The Partnership started in January 2019 with two breakthrough funds—the Investment Fund and the Policy Fund—with a goal to expand and protect the housing rights of up to 175,000 households over the next five years and preserve and produce more than 8,000 homes over the next five to 10 years in the Bay Area. The Investment Fund, which has raised more than $300 million in capital towards its $500 million goal, has already extended a line of credit to a local community development organization that works with diverse communities in the East Bay, to build over 800 affordable homes. The Challenge Grants are the first funding opportunity offered by the Policy Fund. Visit www.baysfuture.org for more information.

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Announcing the launch of our Challenge Grants

Earlier this year, we launched the Partnership for the Bay’s Future as a collaborative regional effort to address the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area, which has reached unprecedented proportions. This is a defining moment for our region. If we want to continue growing our economy, we have a vested interest in building communities that are inclusive of, and prosperous for all residents—especially low-wage workers, low-income tenants, and communities of color. If we join forces to act with urgency, we can solve this crisis.

Our Partnership is the first public-private initiative of its kind in California, consisting of philanthropic, faith, government, business, and community leaders all working toward a shared vision: housing security and a more equitable and inclusive economy for all. The Partnership is unique, in part, because of our focus on the “3Ps”—protecting tenants, while preserving and producing more affordable housing—and, because we aim to achieve results through investments and policy change, both of which are needed if we want to make a meaningful, lasting change to the affordable housing situation in our region.

A recent study by PolicyLink states that rents in the Bay Area have skyrocketed in all nine counties in the past three years. A family of two minimum-wage workers earning $62,400 per year can afford market rents in just 5 percent of Bay Area neighborhoods. If we can reduce the spiraling costs of housing, we can strengthen our communities and our region as a whole.

The Partnership started this January with two breakthrough funds—our Investment Fund and our Policy Fund—with a goal to expand and protect the housing rights of up to 175,000 households over the next five years and preserve and produce more than 8,000 homes over the next five to 10 years in the Bay Area.

Today, we are excited to announce that our Policy Fund is launching its first funding opportunity: the Challenge Grants for Protection and Preservation, with overall funding of nearly $4 million. These Challenge Grants—managed by the San Francisco Foundation on behalf of the Partnership—are designed as a competitive process between Bay Area jurisdictions interested in catalyzing policy change to protect vulnerable tenants and preserve existing affordable housing.

We will select up to ten jurisdictions that propose the most high-impact, yet realistically achievable plans to be a part of a two-year program. Within this period, awardee jurisdictions will receive a capacity building and technical assistance package to pass and begin implementing protection and preservation policies.

The package will include: an early to mid-career fellow to increase capacity for this work, peer cohort support for regional impact, preferential status when applying for flexible capital from the Partnership’s Investment Fund and access to technical assistance. The jurisdictions we select will be expected to partner with community groups to pass and implement a comprehensive package of recommended tenant protection and affordable housing preservation policies.

Challenge Grants are now open to cities and counties in the lower five Bay Area counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa that are currently experiencing, or at risk of experiencing displacement or exclusion of low-income and people of color communities.

We will accept applications from city and county departments that play a lead role in housing, planning, community development or other relevant areas. We will also accept applications featuring creative departmental and cross city/county partnerships. After receiving all the applications, the San Francisco Foundation will conduct three rounds of review, including participation from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future’s Advisory Board, followed by site visits with select jurisdictions to interview staff, elected officials and community partners central to the effort.

We hope that you will encourage your jurisdiction to download and read the Request for Proposals for more details and information, and that your town or city will apply online if eligible.

Challenge Grant applications are due by Friday, August 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST. We will announce the awardees in November 2019.

In the meantime, to find out more about the Challenge Grants, your jurisdiction can sign up for an online information session hosted by the San Francisco Foundation on May 30, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. PDT.

In addition, jurisdictions that would like support in developing their Challenge Grant applications may apply for technical assistance support by June 14, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST, by submitting a Letter of Intent. [Please note that jurisdictions do not need to apply for a Planning Grant in order to pursue a Challenge Grant.]

Housing affordability and stability is an issue for everyone in the Bay Area. This program is a vital first step in delivering housing security and a more equitable and inclusive economy for all. We hope you will join us in tackling our housing shortage and housing affordability challenges in a way that will benefit residents across the income spectrum and improve the economic vitality of our region.

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