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United Way Bay Area to award $1M in housing justice grants to more than 20 local nonprofits

May 27, 2022

Media Contact:
Blake Case
(601) 832-6079

United Way Bay Area to award $1M in housing justice grants to more than 20 local nonprofits


As 1 in 4 Bay Area families cannot afford food, shelter, and other basic necessities, United Way Bay Area is tackling the issue head-on with its inaugural Housing Justice Initiative grants

San Francisco, Calif., May 27, 2022 – United Way Bay Area (UWBA) is awarding grants totaling $1M to more than 20 Bay Area organizations as part of their inaugural Housing Justice Initiative grantmaking efforts. The grants will help increase access to stable and affordable housing, address the racial wealth gap, prevent homelessness, and support organizations engaged in policy advocacy around the issue.

The housing crisis is multifaceted, but the availability of affordable housing remains a top concern. A recent study shows that while the Bay Area needs to build 30,000 affordable housing units for low-income families to keep up with the demand, only 3,645 building permits for such units have been issued. The grants being awarded by UWBA will support local organizations fighting to make sure the Bay Area remains a place where everyone can work, raise families, and live with dignity.

“We are thrilled to award our inaugural round of Housing Justice Initiative grants and can’t wait to see the life-changing work our grantee partners will be able to facilitate,” said Kevin Jenkins, United Way Bay Area’s Housing Justice Initiative Director. “The housing crisis affects us all in the Bay Area, and it will take all of us working together, fighting to guarantee the Bay Area remains a place where everyone can live and thrive.”

A lack of sufficient, affordable housing drives widening income inequality in the region. Nearly 4 out of 10 (PDF) Bay Area households are paying more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. The problem is worse for people of color. Nearly half of Bay Area renters are rent-burdened, with the highest rent burden occurring among Black and Latinx households. In addition, homeownership rates have declined with the lowest rates occurring also among Black and Latinx households. Several of these grants will help close the racial wealth gap by supporting local BIPOC-led organizations doing work to increase pathways to homeownership for people of color.

Funding for the Housing Justice Initiative grants is being allocated by United Way Bay Area and comes from the transformational gift received from MacKenzie Scott. The grants fall into three categories defined by UWBA: Bay Area Affordable Housing Coalitions, Housing Justice Initiative grants, and UWBA Ambassadors Community-Led Housing grants. The Ambassadors grants funding is decided by UWBA Ambassadors who have lived experiences with combatting housing insecurity. Those grant decisions and awards will be announced in the coming weeks. The organizations receiving awards so far include:

Housing Justice Initiative Grants (totaling $640,000):
• Urban Habitat / (Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition) – $50,000
• Enterprise Community Partners – $70,000
• Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy and Services – $20,000
• Healthy & Active Before 5 (fiscal sponsor CocoKids) – $12,500
• Community Housing Development Corporation – $75,000
• Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley – $40,000
• Sacred Heart Community Service – $30,000
• Council of Community Housing Organizations – $25,000
• SOMOS Mayfair – $40,000
• Oakland Community Land Trust – $50,000
• Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. – $40,000
• East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) – $75,000
• Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) – $12,500
• Covenant House California – $30,000
• HIP Housing – $20,000
• Homeward Bound of Marin – $50,000

Bay Area Housing Coalition Grants (totaling $110,000):
• Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California – $35,000
• Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County – $25,000
• East Bay Housing Organizations – $25,000
• Silicon Valley at Home – $25,000

To be announced in the coming weeks:
UWBA Ambassadors Community-Led Housing Grants (totaling $250,000):
These grants are decided by a community-led panel of UWBA Ambassadors with lived experience facing housing insecurity. Funding decisions will be announced in the coming weeks.

About United Way Bay Area
United Way Bay Area (UWBA) mobilizes the Bay Area to assist people living in poverty and to dismantle the root causes of poverty. One of the most respected and highly effective philanthropic organizations fighting poverty, UWBA supports workers and students seeking employment and better careers, helps families struggling to meet basic needs, supports our neighbors toward achieving their financial stability goals, and advocates for housing justice for all Bay Area residents. Learn more at www.uwba.org.