Another approach is to help the city of East Palo Alto in the future to build low-income housing because available land is city-owned and zoned for such housing.
A housing scenario being acted out in East Palo Alto - and maybe other cities as well - involves a low-income family or an elderly couple that has owned their home for many years, and its value has gone from $250,000 to $750,000. Realtors are vigorous in encouraging elderly owners to sell and move. One owner stated she has a visit at least once a week by real estate agents. The owners may be elderly and need cash so they sell and move to an outlying area and buy a cheaper house. If the house is sold, it is no longer available for low-income use.
We are now strategizing with other grantmakers to see if there is a way to partner with low-income housing organizations to purchase an equity share in houses so the owners have cash and can postpone selling. They can use the cash to buy a cheaper house in an outlying area and they agree to make their original home available for the low-income rental market.