The Housing Trust’s recent investor briefing had over 500 people in attendance — including Assemblymember David Chiu, Rebecca Prozan, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google, and others. At the event, our CEO, Charlie Giancarlo discussed how the lack of affordable housing affects many — and it’s no secret that housing costs in the Bay Area have skyrocketed over the last decade. Many people, including our teachers, first-responders and public workers, are being forced out of the area due to the cost of living. This disrupts our communities. As a technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley, we feel that it is our responsibility to use our resources to help work on a solution in the Bay Area.
The Housing Trust provides loans to developers constructing or rehabilitating affordable multi-family rental housing for working families, seniors, the homeless and people with special needs. They also provide loans to low and moderate income homebuyers in the Silicon Valley in the form of low-interest second mortgages and down payment assistance.
It’s nearly impossible for nonprofit housing developers to compete in today’s housing market and by investing in the Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s TECH Fund, we are investing in the community. Our contribution is allocated towards a liquid fund to loan non-profit housing developers so they can afford to purchase land for development. Most homes are being built specifically for families earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) or less.
We are excited to see that our investment has been able to immediately get put to use on developing the Fremont Islander Project, a 128 home affordable housing development spread across one parcel improved with a two story, 70-room motel fronting Mowry Avenue and two adjacent vacant residential land parcels along Bell Street.
We’d like to call on our peers and colleagues to get involved — sooner, rather than later. If we can do it, there are no reasons other Bay Area companies, large and small, can’t get involved and make a difference. Big change starts like everything else — with small steps.