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United Way Bay Area supports 24 housing organizations in the region with grants in honor of Affordable Housing Month

For the third year in a row, United Way Bay Area is awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to local nonprofits fighting homelessness and addressing the lack of affordable housing in the region with innovative solutions

May 28, 2024

Blake Case
(601) 832-6079

San Francisco, May 22, 2024 – United Way Bay Area (UWBA), a group mobilizing the Bay Area to dismantle the root causes of poverty and build equitable pathways to prosperity, is awarding grants to 24 Bay Area organizations as part of their affordable housing grantmaking efforts. These grants support non-profit organizations working to increase access to stable and affordable housing, address the racial wealth gap, prevent homelessness, and promote policy advocacy around the issue. Ten of the grants, totaling $150,000, were decided by a panel of seven community members with direct experience facing housing insecurity in the region. Combined with the housing grants awarded in 2022 and last year, UWBA has contributed more than $2 million in funding for local nonprofits since the launch of their housing justice initiative.

“I found the process of establishing policy for how grants would be distributed invaluable. The opportunity to help fund our community organizations that oftentimes are the only safety net for families, was eye opening,” said Liat Meitzenheimer, one of the seven community ambassadors who helped determine the grant funding. “Learning from top to bottom how funding is determined and then voting on resource distribution with people who have lived experiences has been a rewarding insight and I am grateful to be a part of the process.”

Nearly 4 in 10 households in the Bay Area pay more than 30% of their income on housing, and inquiries for housing assistance continue to be the number one reason people call United Way Bay Area’s 211 helpline, according to its most recent 211 Helpline Snapshot report. With the region continuing to fall short of its new housing goals, these grants from United Way Bay Area will deliver operating funds to organizations working to keep a roof over people’s heads.

“We don’t have enough housing in the Bay Area, it’s a persistent and troubling issue in our region,” said Karen Nemsick, United Way Bay Area’s Director of Housing Justice. “We’re proud to award these grants to organizations working toward a future where everyone in the Bay Area has access to affordable, stable, and accessible housing.”

Funding for the Housing Justice Initiative Grants comes from a transformational gift given by MacKenzie Scott in 2021. This gift allowed United Way Bay Area to kick off its Housing Justice Initiative Grants in 2022 and allows Bay Area organizations to engage in the same life-changing work again this year.

Since their inception, the grants have helped support thousands of households through affordable housing construction, rental assistance, homelessness prevention, and policy advocacy in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano Counties.

“That a gift we received in 2021 continues to power transformative grantmaking shows the importance of Scott’s philanthropy,” says Christopher Berini, United Way Bay Area Chief Advancement Officer. “We are grateful to MacKenzie Scott for helping to power this important work, and we look forward to the new impact our grantees can create with her investment.”

Ambassador grants are decided by a community-led panel of seven UWBA community ambassadors with lived experience facing housing insecurity. These grants provide direct support to keep families housed and target tenant protections and eviction prevention. The organizations receiving awards this year include:

The organizations receiving grant awards this year include:

Housing Justice Grants (Totaling $130,000):

  • Community Housing Development Corporation – (Richmond, Contra Costa)
  • Richmond Neighborhood Housing Development – (Richmond, Solano)
  • SOMOS Mayfair – (San Jose)
  • Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition – (Vallejo)
  • Canal Alliance – (San Rafael, Marin)
  • Rising Juntos – (Contra Costa)
  • All Home – (regional)
  • Destination:Home – (Santa Clara)
  • Gilroy Housing Coalition

Ambassador Grants (totaling $150,000):

  • Bay Area Community Land Trust – (Alameda)
  • UpValley Family Centers of Napa County – (Napa)
  • Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy and Services (CARAS) – (Gilroy, South Santa Clara)
  • Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (BOSS) – (Alameda)
  • Adopt A Family of Marin (Marin)
  • Sister to Sister/Serenity Housing – (Alameda)
  • Healthy and Active Before 5 – (Concord, Contra Costa)
  • SHELTER, Inc. – (Contra Costa)
  • Dixon Family Services – (Solano)
  • Hope Solutions – (Contra Costa)

Affordable Housing Month Grants (totaling $70,000):

  • Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California – (regional)
  • SV@Home – (Silicon Valley)
  • East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) – (Alameda and Contra Costa)
  • Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County
  • Generation Housing – (Napa and Sonoma)


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 uwba.org.