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Housing Justice

We believe that housing is a fundamental human right.


Addressing housing and homelessness in the Bay Area has thus never been more essential than it is right now. Historical disparities reproduced in today’s housing system operate in tandem with the Bay Area’s immense racial wealth gap, with Black and Latinx resident’s half as likely to own homes and twice as likely to live in poverty. In short, fighting for housing stability and affordability requires putting equity front and center. Housing Justice is a social justice issue.

The Need For Housing Justice


Today over 32,000 Bay Area residents are experiencing homelessness. Housing insecurity is one of the main factors driving poverty in the Bay Area today. Whether our neighbors are facing housing/rent burdens, housing insecurity or homelessness – fundamentally we’re talking about an experience in which individuals and families are forced to choose between the cost of housing or paying for basic needs like food, clothing, and childcare.

  • Households in marginalized populations are almost 4 times as likely as white households to have rent debt
  • 95% of zip codes in the Bay Area have become less affordable for prospective homebuyers
  • Bay Area renters have accrued “shadow debt” – borrowing money from individuals or lending institutions to cover unpaid rent
  • Many families have been forced to leave the region entirely due to the lack of affordable housing options

“Sometimes I feel I’m navigating a labyrinth, where every time I think I’m getting close to the center, the maze shifts, exposing new walls and putting me back in survival mode.” –Sharryl, UWBA Ambassador

Learn how Sharryl navigated through their housing challenges

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Impact Numbers

  • 24 Bay Area housing nonprofits supported
  • $2,000,000 in housing grants distributed
  • 68 new affordable housing units supported by Housing Justice grants

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Ambassador Led Grantmaking

Community-led grants are decided by a community-led panel of 7 UWBA Ambassadors with lived experience facing housing insecurity. These grants provide direct support to keep families housed and target rental assistance and eviction prevention.

Improve access to stable, affordable housing and advocate for homelessness prevention


Our Work: UWBA, our partners, and other housing and advocacy organizations advocate for affordable and dignified housing for all people in the Bay Area, challenging misconceptions about housing and homelessness. This educational and advocacy initiative will help the public “Learn, Understand, and Act” on solutions that increase housing equity and affordability for racially marginalized groups disproportionately impacted by the housing crisis.

  • Bay Area Affordable Housing Bond: We believe housing is a human right and housing for all is possible. We are excited to support the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) in a $10-$20 billion nine-county Bay Area affordable housing bond to build thousands of homes and house hundreds of thousands of our neighbors. Learn about our work to support this bond.
  • Policy: We support policies and programs that improve conditions, remove barriers to, and increase the supply of safe and stable affordable housing. We do this by advocating for the increase of public funding for housing, the reform of exclusionary land-use policies, and the open access to housing opportunities for communities of color, as well as by centering renters at risk of displacement. Learn more about our policy work.
  • Grant Making: We award grants to support non-profit organizations across the Bay Area, working to increase access to stable and affordable housing, address the racial wealth gap, prevent homelessness, and promote increased policy advocacy around the issue. Learn more about our Housing Justice grants.

Reach Out


I would love to hear from you. Contact us, and a member of our team will reach out to you.


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Karen Nemsick
Director, Housing Justice

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