Challenge Grants for Protection and Preservation

What is the opportunity?

The Policy Fund of the Partnership for the Bay’s Future supports initiatives that strengthen low-income tenant protections, while preserving and expanding affordable housing. The Fund is currently requesting proposals for its Challenge Grants for Housing Protection and Preservation (“Challenge Grants”) program, which fund awards to jurisdictions to pursue ambitious, comprehensive protection and preservation solutions.

This program, managed by the San Francisco Foundation with total funding of nearly $4 million, is a competitive process between interested Bay Area jurisdictions to catalyze policy change protecting vulnerable tenants and preserving existing affordable housing. The San Francisco Foundation will select up to ten jurisdictions that propose the most high-impact, yet realistically achievable plans to be a part of the Partnership program.

The Policy Fund is 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.

Why Apply?

The Challenge Grants will provide extensive support and resources to up to ten Bay Area jurisdictions with the most comprehensive policy proposals. Over a two-year time frame, each of the winning jurisdictions will receive 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.

Chosen jurisdictions will be expected to partner with community groups to pass and begin implementing a comprehensive package of recommended tenant protection and affordable housing preservation policies.

Who Can Apply?

Challenge Grants are open to cities and counties in the lower five Bay Area 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 city and county departments that play a lead role in housing, planning, community development or other relevant areas. Also acceptable are applications featuring creative cross-departmental and city/county partnerships.

The Challenge Grants are only available for awarded jurisdictions’ lead community groups. We encourage advocacy organizations to explore other grant opportunities through the San Francisco Foundation and its partners.

When are applications due?

The RFP is now open, and all applications are due by August 30, 2019, at 11:59PM PST. Please note that this deadline has been extended from the original due date.

Jurisdictions that would like support in developing their Challenge Grant applications may apply for technical assistance support by August 15, 2019, at 11:59 PM PST, by submitting a Letter of Intent. [Please note that jurisdictions do not need to apply for this technical assistance support in order to pursue a Challenge Grant]

What does the review process entail?

After receiving online applications, The San Francisco Foundation will lead a robust review process with key stakeholders, involving multiple rounds of reviews and scoring by multiple committees, before conducting site visits with select jurisdictions to interview staff central to the effort, community partners, council members, and mayors. Upon completion of scoring, selected jurisdictions will be notified of their award.

How can I find out more?

For more information, download the full RFP document and instructions and a recording of the webinar, or review our resources including the webinar PowerPoint and frequently asked questions.

If you still have questions, please contact us by email.