Guilty conscience? Mark Zuckerberg Plans $ 500 Million Fund for Affordable Housing in the Bay Area

The fund, which will offer flexible loans, has already raised $ 260 million

San Francisco and Facebook as a button containing money (Credit: Wikipedia and Pixabay)

A week after Microsoft announced a $ 500 million investment for affordable housing in Seattle, Bay Area technology companies are preparing a 500 million dollars their own investment fund, with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, grappling with a leading role.

The initiative Chan Zuckerberg, led by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, is associated with the San Francisco Foundation and other philanthropic groups as part of a larger project aimed at coordinate solutions to the severe housing shortage in the region, due in large part to the technological boom. in the Bay Area.

This initiative is a response to "the incredible daily pressure that almost every resident here feels in the housing context," said Judith Bell of the San Francisco Foundation. "Especially low-income families and their impact on employers in the technology, non-profit, health and service sectors."

Bell said the efforts had been ongoing for two years, as discussions had been held with local communities to identify housing needs.

As was the case for Microsoft's high-profile housing fund in Seattle, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and its partners are not giving up 500 million dollars. The fund, which has already mobilized $ 260 million, will offer soft loans and other unspecified financing (for repayment).

The Nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation will administer the fund, which will aim to build at least 8,000 housing units in the Bay Area over the next 10 years, and will also work to preserve housing at risk. to be transformed into more expensive properties.

According to a recent study, the region needs to build 35,000 units a year to cope with population growth.

The Bay Area created more than 700,000 jobs over the decade, but just over 100,000 housing units. More than 80 percent homes in San Francisco now cost more than $ 1 million.