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Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and Canal Alliance Partner to Expand Access to Affordable Homeownership for First-Time, Low-Income Families in Marin County

May 29, 2024

The leading homebuilding nonprofit and Latino social services agency will leverage their respective expertise to identify and build 100% affordable homes

SAN FRANCISCO & SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – (May 29, 2024) – Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco (Habitat Greater San Francisco) and Canal Alliance, the long-standing San Rafael-based nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of Latino immigrants and their families, are excited to announce a strategic partnership aimed at creating more affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time, low-income families in Marin County. The collaboration seeks to address the urgent need for equitable housing solutions in Marin County and empower underserved communities in the region.

The partnership comes at a critical time as the area continues to grapple with housing disparities and affordability challenges. The median home price in Marin County has already exceeded $1.64 million this year, more than double the median home price in the rest of California. Latino families account for only 5% of the homes owned in Marin County, and in San Rafael where the majority of Latino families in Marin County live, housing expenses exceed the national average by 145%. The high cost of housing coupled with an extremely limited housing stock is displacing working families at an alarming rate. The majority of Marin’s workforce now live outside county lines.

In response to this pressing need, Habitat Greater San Francisco and Canal Alliance are leveraging their respective expertise to identify potential properties, secure funding, construct affordable homes and help local families set down roots that will last for generations.

“We can always accomplish more when we come together, and I am thrilled to partner with Canal Alliance, an organization I so deeply respect who has deep ties to the community and decades of experience helping working families find the resources they need to succeed,” said Maureen Sedonaen, Chief Executive Officer at Habitat Greater San Francisco.

“We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to address the local housing crisis, whether it’s launching the largest affordable homeownership development in the state of California with our 80-home project in Novato, or our new collaboration with Canal Alliance. It is through affordable homeownership that we will break the cycle of generational poverty and instead start building generational wealth. We see again and again the benefits of homeownership, from better health and educational outcomes for parents and children, to stronger and safer communities. We are eager to get started and invite the community to join us on this journey and help make Marin County a place where everyone can flourish,” said Sedonaen.

Since its founding in 1982, Canal Alliance has been working tirelessly to advocate for immigrants in Marin County and provide them with the tools and resources they need to prosper. Over the years, housing insecurity, overcrowding, and displacement have become a growing concern in the region and prompted the nonprofit to pursue affordable homeownership opportunities more directly, including the purchase of twelve homes in San Rafael that the organization rents at affordable rates to local families.

Omar Carrera, Chief Executive Officer at Canal Alliance, shared that, “At Canal Alliance we know housing to be an essential stepping stone toward the financial stability and safety of the Latino community we serve, which makes it fundamental to achieving our mission. When our clients can access affordable housing, their dreams become achievable. We see countless examples of this, of stable housing allowing for advancement toward higher education, vocational training, and more. It is with this in mind that we enter this new partnership with Habitat for Humanity. We are excited about the work ahead.”

Together, the organizations are committed to building a brighter and more equitable future for Marin County residents. For more information about the partnership and opportunities to get involved, visit www.habitatgsf.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco

Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco (Habitat Greater San Francisco) builds homes and community in partnership with thousands of annual volunteers, hard-working families, donors, civic leaders and other engaged community members in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. The work supporters help us do provides a critical path to financial security for families who live and work here and strengthens neighborhoods across the Bay Area. Habitat Greater San Francisco has built more than 270 affordable homes in the Bay Area. More information can be found at www.habitatgsf.org.

Media Contact: Jennifer Hayes
Phone: 510-325-5622
Email: jhayes@habitatgsf.org

About Canal Alliance
Canal Alliance, located in San Rafael, California, offers immigration legal services, education and career programs, and social services to help Latino immigrants and their families overcome barriers to success. Because when we support immigrants, Marin becomes a place where everyone can live, learn, work, and succeed. More information can be found at www.canalalliance.org.

Media Contact: Isabel French
Phone: 415-634-0195
Email: isabelf@canalalliance.org

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