The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 18, approved a $500,000 grant to United Hope Builders, which plans to build a new modular housing manufacturing plant in East Palo Alto.
United Hope Builders is the latest nonprofit initiative to support unhoused people in East Palo Alto led by Pastor Paul Bains, founder and president of WeHOPE, an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit homelessness services provider.
United Hope Builders, through a partnership with IndieDwell, an Idaho-based B corporation and modular housing manufacturer, is building a modular housing factory on 7 acres of the former Romic Environmental Technologies site on Bay Road. The grant funds will help pay the salaries and benefits of the plant's manufacturing line employees.
"Not only do we have to preserve and protect, but we also have to produce more affordable housing, particularly extremely low-income housing," Bains told county supervisors.
As of January, the nonprofit had raised $4 million and needed to raise $2 million more.
The nonprofit aims to create about 100 new jobs for East Palo Alto residents. Employees will earn equity by owning 20% of the factory.
"It's a win-win for us, it's a win-win for the community and it's a win for the homeless people who might be able to get some housing as a result of these modular housing units," Supervisor Warren Slocum said.
Go to unitedhopebuilders.org for more information.