Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help house teachers | News | Palo Alto Online |


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help house teachers

Fund will support Silicon Valley educators to buy homes near their workplace

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced the investment of $5 million to create a home down payment support fund through a startup for educators who work in the Redwood City, Ravenswood City, and Sequoia Union High School districts.

The fund, created with Landed — a San Francisco-based organization that provides down payment assistance to educators buying homes — will aim to help at least 60 educators in the three districts to buy homes near their workplaces, where Silicon Valley's tech boom has made home prices otherwise out of reach of these critical community members.

"More broadly, our hope is that our partnership with Landed will help create a sustainable model to help make homeownership a reality for more educators and others at risk of getting priced out of the communities they serve," the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative [The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative posted on Facebook.

According to a blog post by Landed, any proceeds generated from this fund will be continually reinvested into "helping more educators access homeownership as a housing option."

"This investment from CZI represents an important milestone for our company," the blog post said. "We hope that more philanthropic organizations and community investors across the country join in to test this approach in the communities they care about, wherever they may be."

The investment will support up to half of a down payment (but no more than $120,000), for the purchase of a primary residence. Landed makes money when the house is sold or refinanced and owners share up to 25 percent of the appreciation or depreciation.

Similar programs through Landed at two Mountain View school districts has made great progress since the company made presentations proposing the funds last year.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, who announced its creation in December 2015 with the pledge to give away 99 percent of their shares in the company — currently worth $45 billion — to charitable organizations.


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12 people like this
Posted by Marlene Glez.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

Zuckerberg for President of USA !!!!!

17 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

While the charitable work is to be appreciated, I am not sure I see how aiding teachers with down-payment to buy houses helps solve a long term problem.
Let me say I have nothing against such endeavours, but I do not see how this can be sustained in the longer term. 500 teachers get help and are able to afford to buy a house. What happens when they no longer work for the school district, retire, pass away? What is the benefit to new teachers who replace them?
Would not rent assistance (that can be used towards rent or mortgage payments) as long you continue to work for the district as a teacher be more logical?

Someone pls explain, because I am seriously not getting this.

7 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

To add, yes, I did read the part about what happens when the house is sold.
But this project sounds like help in building equity or wealth (assuming mostly upward prices for real estate) rather than help teachers live in their work community, minimize commute, have better work-life balance and ultimately be more happy and productive.

14 people like this
Posted by for Healthier High Schools
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

What a wonderful, welcome initiative!

Thank you Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan for your public-spirited generosity.

Next week I'm having coffee with a Gunn student whom I taught eighteen years ago, and this is only because I live in the community to which she periodically returns (now, from a teaching job at NYU-Dubai!).

Such experiences enable me to continue to be a mentor and supporter to her, and also give me the emotional income so essential to being a teacher.

Schoolteachers who are able to live in the communities where they teach can:

1) schedule more evening meetings with their students' parents; 2) attend more evening school events; 3) more easily meet with students on Saturdays and Sundays for extra tutoring; 4) more often attend students' plays, recitals, ballgames, and art exhibits; 5) make contributions at school board meetings; 6) visit students who may be hospitalized; 7) and do much else.

With our high schools' social textures so tattered, so torn by stress, it's important that we find and fund these ways of stitching it together.

I only wish such support were coming to Palo Alto, where the teachers need it and long for it just a badly.

Marc Vincenti
Gunn English Dept. (1995-2010)
Chairman, Save the 2,008—for Healthier High Schools

P.S. Join us! We're a grassroots, community alliance--now 564 strong--of teachers, parents, PAMF physicians, LMFTs, faith leaders, engineers, Stanford professors and more--advocating for six simple nuts-and-bolts changes in the way life is lived at Gunn and Paly.

Visit us at:

All of our proposals will knit students and teachers more closely together.

Like this comment
Posted by casey
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm

casey is a registered user.

It's not a bad deal. I was confused by this phrase at first: "owners share up to 25 percent of the appreciation or depreciation." I thought it meant that the owners only receive 25% of the gain/loss. However, the landed website makes clear that the owners share 25% of gain/loss with landed.

42 people like this
Posted by Zucked to Death
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

A down payment on a house anywhere on the Peninsula would have to be a large one!

Otherwise the teachers' salaries will not support the payments. Not even if there are two incomes!

The minimum down required is 20-25%, depending on lenders. I know of very, very few people who can afford a monthly mortgage payment of $8,000 to $12,000!

Zuck has been a billionaire too long to understand the logistics!

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

[Post removed.]

34 people like this
Posted by Zucked to Death
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Last time I checked, EPA was on the Peninsula.

Went to a funeral in EPA yesterday. At the reception afterward, the children of the deceased were upset that they could not afford to buy a home in EPA, despite the fact that all three are professionals, though not techies!

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Gosh, Housing, I really am interested in knowing why this initiative bothers you when it doesn't affect you. It doesn't affect anyone in Palo Alto, does it? If so, how?

26 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Any effort is good and I don't mean to be a cynic, but Facebook is a huge part of the problem. Their hiring and their employees are one of the major causes of the jobs housing imbalance. $5M is meager and they should step up some more.

24 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm

$5M? Really? That should help just about 2 teachers.

As a teacher new to the area, I have been looking for a rental every single day for over 4 months. My job starts in 2 weeks and I still have no place to live. Looks like I may have to quit before I start. Enjoy your unedumikated kids and your really big houses, Palo Alto!

21 people like this
Posted by BP
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 21, 2017 at 12:38 am

So Zuckerberg is trying to feel less guilty of destroying affordable housing in Menlo Park and EPA, by giving out measly $5 million to some school teachers.

He is doing this to silence critics, and to buy the Menlo Park council approval for his mega expansion plans for FB. If he truly cared about the housing problem he has help create, future expansion of FB would be in South San Jose or Seattle or anywhere else more affordable.

Burn down FB!

9 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 21, 2017 at 2:02 am

@ BP
Sadly the area around Seattle is no longer affordable. [Portion removed.]
Amazon, Microsoft, and other tech employees and their families can't find affordable housing up there either, and there is no more space to build.
They have a terrible housing shortage, and the traffic is simply horrific.
Young families around here, Southern California, and in the Seattle are making career changes - taking teaching jobs at smaller universities and deciding to work in jobs at smaller companies in exchange for a better quality of life.

5 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Can we stop it with all this "move to somewhere more affordable" nonsense? It doesn't matter where Facebook or any of the other large tech companies choose to locate, if there are the same terrible land use policies affordability will be just as much of an issue.

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