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Zuckerberg foundation aims to help with SF's housing crisis

Slowly researching solutions to problems the tech boom helped cause.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
July 18, 2016
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Stephen Lam / Reuters

The influx of engineers, employees and entrepreneurs into Silicon Valley has caused area housing prices to skyrocket, pushing out locals and earning the industry some deserved ill-will. Now the nascent Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has turned its attention to the problem, spending the last few weeks meeting with experts. But the endeavor is still heavily in the research phase, so don't expect it to find a solution to the complex housing crisis soon.

Representatives from the philanthropic group met with housing experts affiliated with local governments, real estate groups and academia, according to The Information. For now, that's all we know about the initiative's plans, but at least meeting with multiple groups suggests that this process could serve up a more comprehensive solution than throwing money at the problem. Case in point: as part of its proposal submitted last Friday to buy land for office space adjacent to its Menlo Park complex, Facebook offered to spend $7.8 million on affordable housing in the area. Of course, if the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative wanted to just buy housing, it could buy quite a lot with the approximately $50 million in Facebook shares that make up its funding.

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