Facebook Commits $150M to Bay Area Affordable Housing

The company is targeting 2026 to complete distribution of the fund, which is expected to support the creation of at least 2,000 affordable units.
Lighthouse at Grace. Image courtesy of First Community Housing

Facebook is now looking for affordable housing projects to fund in the Bay Area after designating $150 million of its $1 billion commitment. One of the first projects that will take advantage of Facebook’s $150 million Bay Area fund will be a First Community Housing property in San Jose, Calif.

According to First Community Housing, the project will be a 123-unit transit-oriented infill development offering affordable housing units. The community, which has a working name of Lighthouse at Grace, will offer 101 studios and 20 one-bedroom units that will go to those making 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income. First Community Housing Project told Multi-Housing News that at least half of the 123 units will be designated for those making under 30 percent of the AMI.

The six-story community will also be built with a central laundry facility, outdoor community courtyard, computer lab, lounge areas, bike parking and community gardens. As a First Community Housing project, the community will also include supportive services and provide all residents with a free annual VTA SmartPass that gives them free bus and light rail access throughout the county. The community, located at 155 S. 11th St., will also be near bus stops, VTA stops and Diridon Station.

FACEBOOK’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUND

While First Community Housing’s project will be one of the first to receive Facebook funding, the $150 million is expected to support the development of at least 2,000 affordable homes. The $150 million designation, known as the Community Housing Fund, is part of Facebook’s $1 billion affordable housing commitment that it made in October 2019.

Facebook is expecting to fund at least five projects across the eligible counties of Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa in the next 12 months and plans to distribute the entirety of the $150 million by 2026.

The Community Housing Fund will include an advisory board of community members who have personal experience with homelessness alongside Facebook, the fund manager Local Initiative Support Corp. and Destination: Home, a nonprofit organization fighting to end homelessness who has also contributed $5 million to the fund. With Destination: Home’s partnership, a third of the $150 million will be dedicated for Santa Clara County projects.

In an announcement on the Facebook website, the company’s CFO David Wehner said that the fund will help fill a critical gap of extremely low-income housing in California. He also said in the announcement that investing in extremely low-income housing is critical to addressing homelessness as those who qualify for that level of low-income housing are more susceptible to becoming homeless.