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Five Peninsula Projects Receive $1.5 Million Facebook Grant to Build Low-Cost Housing

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) -- Facebook awarded $1.5 million to five projects that will help create low-cost housing in the Peninsula communities of East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks.

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, the nonprofit responsible for giving out the grants, announced the five recipients on Thursday, in partnership with Facebook and the city of Menlo Park.

Funding comes from Facebook's Housing Innovation Fund, which supports the creation of community land trusts and Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs -- secondary housing units attached to a residential property.

United Hope Builders at Work
Workers build a steel modular home in East Palo Alto.. The modular homes are a project of United Hope Builders, a nonprofit that received funding from Facebook to manufacture homes at a local factory (Courtesy of United Hope Builders)

One of the projects to receive funding was a collaboration between the East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organization (EPACANDO), Preserving Affordable Housing Assets Longterm, Inc. (PAHALI) and Youth United for Community Action (YUCA).

The groups will use the funding to build two ADUs that will be the first housing units of a community land trust in East Palo Alto.

The other four grant recipients are United Hope Builders, City Systems, Soup and Symbium.

United Hope Builders will use the funding to manufacture steel modular homes at a factory in East Palo Alto. The project will employ locals, who will also be eligible to buy the $100,000 homes.

Pastor Paul Bains, chairman of United Hope Builders, said in a statement that by building the modular housing factory in East Palo Alto, they are "tackling the housing crisis in the Bay Area head on."

City Systems, Soup and Symbium will use the funding for projects that streamline the process of designing, permitting and building ADUs.

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