Marin Community Foundation Kicks Off Homelessness and Affordable Housing Initiative with New Grants; Announces Leadership Change

Feb 6, 2024

New Grants

Marin Community Foundation’s strategic planning process which concluded in 2023 identified two escalating crises in Marin: Climate and Homelessness/Affordable Housing. A subsequent countywide survey conducted by local officials similarly pinpointed these two issues as the most critical to address.

MCF’s resulting Homelessness & Affordable Housing initiative seeks to locate critical intervention points in the continuum from homelessness prevention to home ownership – and the ways in which philanthropic dollars can be leveraged to create the greatest impact on that continuum.

The intervention points which have been identified are:

  • Invest in homeless prevention services
  • Increase access to permanent supportive housing and affordable housing
  • Support a countywide coalition to increase coordination and effectiveness

Following several months of extensive research and expert convenings, MCF has made the first batch of grants to support this initiative. They are:

Homelessness prevention

  • A $622,500 grant to Bolinas Community Land Trust, to create temporary housing on property it owns in Bolinas to relocate sixty long-term, full-time members of the Bolinas community who reside in non-conforming and condemned structures at neighboring Tacherra Ranch, and were facing eviction.
  • A $500,000 grant to Marin Foster Care Association, to enable the purchase of a ten-unit apartment building in Novato to be occupied by transition-age foster youth, a population at disproportionately high risk for homelessness.
  • A $667,000 grant to Homeward Bound of Marin to enable the completion of its veteran’s housing project, providing 24 one-bedroom apartments for unhoused veterans, and effectively ending veteran homelessness in Marin County.

Increase permanent supportive and affordable housing stock

  • A $750,000 grant to Bridge Housing to assist in the purchase and preservation of an apartment building in Terra Linda.
  • A $575,000 grant to support the research and development of a community land bank in Marin. The initiative will be led by MCF’s outgoing Vice President of Community Engagement, Johnathan Logan. (For more on Johnathan’s departure, please see below.)
  • A $225,000 grant to the County of Marin, to enable Marin County to join a collaborative with Napa and Sonoma counties with the ultimate aim of boosting ADU production in Marin.
  • Two grants to Community Land Trust of West Marin, totaling $200,000 to enable the purchase of two single family homes in Point Reyes Station.
  • A $25,520 grant to Hope Housing, a new Marin City-based land trust, to enable a feasibility study to be conducted for a possible acquisition.

Leadership Change

Johnathan Logan, MCF’s VP of Community Engagement since 2016, and the Foundation’s resident expert on affordable housing and community development, departs MCF on February 9th, to launch a new affordable housing and community development venture. As noted above, as part of its inaugural round of grants under the new Homelessness & Affordable Housing Initiative, MCF is providing support to the venture in the form of a multi-year grant to conduct a feasibility study to explore the establishment of a community land bank in Marin. Community land banks have been demonstrated to be critical tools to enable the timely production of affordable housing developments, while ensuring developments are both compatible with the values and vision of the communities themselves.

In his time at MCF, Johnathan has supported numerous affordable housing projects and overseen the Community First Loan Fund. And in his more than 20 years working in Marin County, he has established deep relationships with local government, land trusts, developers, investors and nonprofits. As announced by Rhea Suh, President and CEO of MCF, “Johnathan Logan’s departure from MCF is bittersweet; while we lose a great leader within the institution, the community gains a great advocate for affordable housing—that works for all communities. The initiative he is launching couldn’t be more urgent or necessary and demonstrates our commitment to identify projects which have the opportunity to make impact at scale.”

Johnathan will conclude his role at MCF on February 9 and an interim leader, Michelle DePass, commenced on February 1 to ensure seamless continuity with current projects and grants. Michelle is an exceptionally seasoned expert in the fields of philanthropy, nonprofit, human rights, government and academia. Her career includes stints in the EPA within the Obama Administration, oversight of the Economic and Assets portfolio for The Ford Foundation, and as President & CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust, one of Oregon’s largest private funders.

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