Chan Zuckerberg Initiative gives $3.6 million to fight housing crisis
By Richard Scheinin
The Mercury News
6 February 2017
Photo: Construction workers work on one of Crescent Village Apartment Homes’ apartment buildings in San Jose on April 12, 2012, Mercury News
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced today their gift of $500,000 to UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, a two-year gift meant to help generate long-range solutions to the Bay Area’s housing predicament. Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and her husband Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, CZI aims to ensure that people of all income levels can live and work in their communities.
“The Terner Center is a national leader in creating strategies to help families live in sustainable and affordable homes and communities,” CZI said in an announcement. “Our gift will support their work to continue their strong research to help guide our region towards evidenced-based solutions.”
I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Affordable Housing and Urban Policy at the College of Environmental Design and Faculty Director of the Terner Center Carol Galante said the gift is an example of “catalytic investment to figure out how the Bay Area can get out of the difficult situation it’s in relative to such high costs of housing.”
Currently, the Terner Center is editing a paper on off-site construction and what it would mean to increase it in a manner that reduces construction costs by 20 percent and cuts construction time by 40 percent.
How are such savings possible? While grading and foundation work is happening at the construction site, she explained, modules are being manufactured away from the site: “A portion of the apartment that you’re building is prebuilt in a factory,” she said. “Think of it as bringing in Legos and stacking them together on top of the foundation.”
A collaboration between CED and the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at UC Berkeley, the Terner Center hopes to focus on “trying to move the dial on the housing dialogue at the policy level.” Its research examines “how real estate developers, the construction industry and the financing industry can come up with new models to lower the prices of homes and rents,” and its mission is to formulate bold strategies to house families from all walks of life in vibrant, sustainable, and affordable homes and communities.
Read more about CZI’s gift to the Terner Center and stay up to date on their progress here.