Our History

Housing Trust History

In the 1990’s, the high-tech boom morphed into the dot-com revolution, causing the average home price in Santa Clara County to skyrocket and leaving many would-be homebuyers out of the market. At the time, seven out of ten residents could not afford to buy a home in the county in which they resided; rental prices had jumped 23 percent in a two-year period; and the vacancy rate dropped dramatically to two percent. Individuals and families were not the only group impacted by this high-cost housing crisis. Businesses also complained of problems recruiting and retaining top talent.

The First $20,000,000 Raised

By 2000, the Housing Trust was born. Led by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and what is now the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, affordable housing activists, local businesses, and foundations organized to create something groundbreaking: a non-profit Housing Trust. Supported by voluntary contributions, the Housing Trust devoted itself to addressing the full range of affordable housing needs from increasing homeownership and preventing homelessness, to increasing the supply of rental and permanent housing.

The call went out to raise $20 million and leverage $200 million in two years to assist 2,000 families; and Silicon Valley responded. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors was the first to invest in the Housing Trust with a generous $2 million grant, which was coupled with a $1 million grant from Intel and a combined $1 million investment from high-tech giants Adobe, Cisco Systems, Applied Materials, Solectron, and homebuilder KB Homes. Within 18 months of launching the campaign, all cities and towns in Santa Clara County followed suit to contribute to the Housing Trust. Within two years the $20 million goal was exceeded.

An Enduring Public-Private Partnership

More than fifteen years after our founding, scores of Silicon Valley employers, employer foundations, state and federal housing agencies and private citizens have voluntarily sustained a shared goal to make Silicon Valley a more affordable place to live. We created TECH Fund, an investment vehicle to allow philanthropic organizations and private sector entities to easily invest in critical housing solutions. And thanks to our early efforts, and the continuing leadership of our donors and partners, we have invested over $171 million to create more than 16,100 homes for Silicon Valley’s workforce, families, seniors and special needs individuals.

Housing Trust Silicon Valley is now among the largest housing trusts in the nation to finance affordable housing and assist first-time homebuyers. As a Certified CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), we are nationally recognized for providing the resources and leadership needed to make housing more affordable for those who want to live in Silicon Valley.

Bringing the Homeless Home

Fiscal Year 2017: 606 people assisted/$942,540 grants for those experiencing homelessness

Helping Homebuyers

Fiscal Year 2017: 1,518 homebuyers educated/300 pre-purchase counseling sessions

Increasing Supply

Fiscal Year 2017: $33.7 million in loans committed/1,069 homes financed/222 homes for homeless and special needs clients/385 homes for seniors/369 homes for families

Learn more about our clients’ success stories.