(Photo: Garreth Wilcock/Flickr)
“Housing has become the primary obstacle to livability in almost every region,” said Jim Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward, “with high costs pushing millions of people below the poverty line or into homelessness, or into ever-longer commutes negatively impacting air quality and workers’ health. This, as employers throughout the state report they are struggling to attract and retain skilled workers.”
With the supply of housing lagging far below demand – and with half of Californians now unable to rent or buy a home in their communities – California Forward continues to press the urgent need to build more housing of all types over the next decade. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has now joined with CA Fwd as a partner in this effort.
“Safe, stable, and affordable housing is crucial to a family’s success and to building healthy and diverse communities,” said Caitlyn Fox, Director of Housing Affordability at CZI. “We work with community leaders, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and investors to ensure more people have access to housing that meets their needs. We’re pleased to partner with CA Fwd as they identify policy levers for research and development that can provide Californians with the homes they need while ensuring new growth is sustainable for local governments, residents, and the environment. This work complements CZI's broader local work around housing affordability, including our recent work to help create the Partnership for the Bay's Future, which is working to improve housing production, preservation, and protection in the region.”
With its partners in the California Economic Summit, CA Fwd launched the One Million More Homes initiative in 2015. The Summit’s bipartisan network of public, private and civic leaders from across California’s diverse regions champion solutions that meet the triple bottom line: simultaneously growing the economy, improving environmental quality and increasing opportunity for all.
CA Fwd will work with regional partners to produce a set of fiscal incentives that encourage production of housing on the scale needed to meet state goals and at a price point Californians of all incomes can afford. Strategies will be developed that support both rural and urban regions. The major elements of this “all-of-the-above” housing agenda can be found in the Summit's 2019 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity.
ABOUT CA FWD
California Forward is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, devoted to improving the performance of government in California. It believes that increased emphasis on accountability and transparency will create government that Californians deserve and expect. CA Fwd strongly advocates for confidence and trust in elected officials as being an essential ingredient to good government. (www.CAFwd.org)
ABOUT THE CHAN ZUCKERBERG INITIATIVE’S HOUSING WORK:
Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges – from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy, and advocacy to help build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. Core to this work is the belief that access to safe, affordable, and accessible housing is essential to community stability and shared prosperity. CZI has partnered with numerous organizations working on innovative solutions in the housing sector, such as: the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, Landed, TechEquity, Eviction Lab, and the Kelsey. CZI has also supported work around ballot measures related to housing, like Prop 1 & 2 in California. CZI also helped create the Partnership for the Bay’s future, a collaboration between community and faith leaders, housing advocates, business leaders, and philanthropists to address the region's interconnected challenges of housing, transportation, and economic opportunity. The Partnership, began in January 2019 with two breakthrough funds—the Investment Fund and Policy Fund—to expand and protect the homes 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 San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties. (www.chanzuckerberg.com)