Press Release - October 12 2011 Regional Planning Grants

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS FOR REGIONAL PLANNING

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MOUNTAIN VIEW – Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded $976,000 in grants to make sure communities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are prepared to grow while preserving open space and the Bay Area’s natural environment.

Grants were awarded to 13 nonprofit organizations and public agencies that are working to promote access to affordable housing located near expanded public transit options and the full range of services needed in a healthy community.

"Too many workers in our region commute for hours to live in affordable housing," said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive officer of the community foundation. "Those hours on the road make it difficult for those people to be part of a community. The time they must spend getting to work also increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. We need smart growth policies that will change those patterns."

With Silicon Valley expected to add 900,000 new households and 1.2 million jobs by 2035, today’s land use and transportation decisions will impact the quality of life for years to come, particularly in low-income communities, communities of color and immigrant neighborhoods.

"All residents in our communities need access to jobs, housing and services," said program officer Gina Dalma. "This is about creating strong neighborhoods that value all the essentials of a good community: affordable housing, public transit, good schools, employment opportunities and open spaces."

The grants support the continuation of work that the community foundation began funding in 2009 to promote regional planning, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that planning does not disproportionately affect socio-economically disadvantaged communities or communities of color.

As a result of the community foundation’s investment, planning processes are becoming more open to the public and are recognizing that successful communities have jobs, housing and an environment that serve all socio-economic levels and ethnicities.

Organizations that received funding for a second year to continue regional planning work include Public Advocates, Urban Habitat, Non-Profit Housing. Funding was provided for a third year to Greenbelt Alliance, TransForm and the Great Communities Collaborative. In addition, the community foundation is continuing to support the Grand Boulevard Initiative to transform El Camino Real with smart growth strategies. The initiative is a collaboration of SamTrans, San Mateo County Health System and Greenbelt.

The grants bring to almost $3 million the community foundation's investment in improving local and regional planning processes, increasing public involvement in planning decisions and raising awareness about the social, environmental and economic benefits of smart growth policies.

The full list of grantees is available at www.siliconvalleycf.org

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the community foundation has $2 billion in assets under management and more than 1,500 philanthropic funds. The community foundation provides grants through donor advised and corporate funds in addition to its own endowment funds. The community foundation serves as a regional center for philanthropy, providing donors simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org