Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests $5M to help more educators buy homes

Photo: CHANDLER WEST / CHAN ZUCKERBERG INITIATIVE

Photo: CHANDLER WEST / CHAN ZUCKERBERG INITIATIVE

In a time when professionals with teaching credentials and master’s degrees are becoming homeless,  the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced is investing $5 million to help teachers buy homes in the Redwood City, Ravenswood City, and Sequoia Union High School districts in California, districts which face some of the highest housing costs in the United States.

CZI is partnering with the San Francisco-based startup Landed. Founded in 2015, Landed aims to improve access to expensive housing for essential professionals, like teachers, who struggle to build financial security near where they work.

“While making housing more accessible will require many approaches, we hope this kind of down payment support will help to make it a little easier for great educators to stay and build successful careers in the region,” wrote Landed CEO Jonathan Asmis.

The CZI posted on Facebook that despite this investment will only serve as few as 60 educators, the plan is to reinvest any revenue. “More broadly, our hope is that our partnership with Landed will help create a sustainable model to help make homeownership a reality for more educators and others at risk of getting priced out of the communities they serve.” 

The struggle is real and not limited to Silicon Valley. On May, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced an investment of $44 million to spend on the city's first teacher housing development, reported Business Insider. The housing development will have more than 100 rental units with prices below market rates.

This is not the first housing-related effort for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, according to the San Francisco Business Times, CZI donated $3.1 million to Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto to fund tenant assistance. And also provided a $500,000 research grant to University of California, Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation.