SAN FRANCISCO—In recent years, the tech industry has pledged billions of dollars to fund affordable housing developments in its back yard. These funds are championed by companies such as Google, Facebook, Salesforce and Microsoft as a way to remedy the housing crisis that is driven in part by these companies’ explosive growth and wealth creation.

But with remote work, local government approvals stymied by the pandemic, the effects of climate change reshaping the state and the threat of an eroding tax base due to economic downturn converging, it remains to be seen what the future holds for these funds. Marina Christodoulides, vice president of Project Management Advisors Inc., recently weighed in about whether or not those funds can help solve the complex problem of affordable housing. Allison Owens, vice president and general manager of Project Management Advisors Inc., has served as development fiduciary for these funds and shared insights from assessing and competing for the services of market-rate developers, to local zoning ordinances, innovative ways to bring down the price of development and the effect of pro- and anti-development activists.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.

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