Way before Facebook moved to its Menlo Park headquarters in 2011, life in the nearby communities was laid-back, and housing costs were affordable.
When the social network moved in, that’s when life in those communities became a struggle.
Residents of Redwood City, North Fair Oaks, Belle Haven and East Palo Alto have complained about rising housing costs and the gentrification of their communities.
TechCrunch reported that “average rent in East Palo Alto (located two miles from Facebook HQ) went up 24 percent in the past year.
Gentrification is “the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste.”
To address the situation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) established by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, has launched a Community Fund.
The CZI Community Fund will give $25,000 to $100,000 grants to nonprofits and nonprofit or municipality-backed organizations.
The recipients should be focused on improving education, housing, homelessness, immigration, transportation and workforce development in the four communities near Facebook HQ.
A Lot Of Work To Do
“The Bay Area is our home. We love our community and are so proud to be raising our two daughters here,” Chan said on Facebook.
“But listening to the stories from our local leaders and neighbors, there is still a lot of work to do.”
Groups seeking support from the CZI Community Fund can apply before December 1.
The applicant-organizations will be evaluated on the basis of alignment with the fund’s mission, impact potential, leadership, collaboration with other organizations, community engagement and fiscal responsibility to make sure funds aren’t wasted on overhead.
The CZI has already backed some local projects, including criminal justice reform in California, it was learned from TechCrunch.
The initiative also put $5 million for Y Combinator startup Landed that helps schoolteachers pay for home down payments in areas near Facebook HQ.
The initiative also gave $3.1 million to Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto that assisted families affected by the local housing problem who need legal protection.
The CZI Community Fund is a laudable gesture as it aims to help struggling communities near Facebook HQ.
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