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Aug 17

Housing inventory and local supply study released; Housing Innovation Fund forthcoming

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm by Clay Curtin

The UC Berkeley research team from the Center for Community Innovation and the Y-PLAN Initiative at the Center for Cities Schools presented its findings of the housing inventory and local supply study to the Menlo Park City Council on August 11, 2020. The housing inventory and supply study titled Investment and Disinvestment as Neighbors is now available.
As part of its campus expansion project development agreement, Facebook committed to fund this study. The study is intended to establish a baseline understanding of the housing conditions, facilitate the development of an informed regional housing strategy, and develop recommendations to support the preservation of affordable and workforce housing. The study provides community profiles for each of the three communities (Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto) and outlines real estate patterns within each community. The study outlines recommended actions for housing unit production and preservation, as well as tenant protections. The study also identifies the need to monitor conditions over time and for large employers, such as Facebook, to consider how a company’s internal policies can affect housing conditions in the vicinity and educate employees.

The next steps in the implementation of the development agreement are for Facebook to create the housing innovation fund, which is intended to build off the study, and provide the resources to implement near-term actions recommended by the study. It is anticipated that in early September, Facebook will formally create the housing innovation fund and begin the process of determining which near term actions to fund based upon the findings from the study.

In the development agreement, Facebook agreed to commit $1,500,000 to establish the housing innovation fund. The fund would be overseen by an advisory group convened to provide oversight that would include Facebook representatives, local elected officials, and members of local community organizations. The advisory group would be comprised of eight members, including at least one member selected by the city manager of Menlo Park and one member selected by the city manager of East Palo Alto. The remaining six members would be selected by Facebook at its discretion. More information on the status of the housing innovation fund will be provided when available.

More details on the Facebook Campus Expansion Project development agreement implementation status are available online.