This story was originally printed Dec. 10 in the Daily Post. If you want all of the important local news first, pick up the Post in the mornings at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.
BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
Palo Alto agreed to pass progressive housing policies, including protections for renters, when the City Council accepted a grant from a foundation funded by Mark Zuckerberg last summer.
The council is currently working on policies to help renters, such as a rental registry, eviction protections and requiring landlords to pay relocation assistance. The council has expressed support for the policies but hasn’t approved any of them.
But on June 1, 2020, the council signed an agreement with a philanthropic nonprofit and a research institute to host someone who would work on renter protections and affordable housing. As part of the agreement, the city signed on to “design and implement improvements to housing protection and preservation programs to advance racial equity.”
The agreement says the city will “develop a set of high-impact tenant protection and preservation policies and ensure adoption.”
The city also agreed to analyze the number of low-income people and minorities who are in long-term affordable homes.
The decision was on the council’s consent calendar, so it was voted on without discussion along with several other items.
Lauren Bigelow, who works for a research institute called PolicyLink, is on the job. Her salary is paid by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation, a multi-million nonprofit that gives out grants to other nonprofits.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and other large foundations fund the San Francisco Foundation, though its funding sources aren’t entirely clear.
The San Francisco Foundation’s IRS documents from last year show that 10 people contributed more than $10 million, but their names aren’t included on the form. The largest individual donation was $37.6 million.
The foundation also received 29,105 shares of Facebook stock, worth $6 million, in December 2019, according to IRS documents.