Affordable Housing

Housing is a human right. We at Beneficial State live and work in regions that face some of the worst housing affordability crises in the country. We feel that as a bank, we have the ability and responsibility to help find and fund solutions for housing affordability and preserve this right for everyone.

DATA AT A GLANCE

* cumulative total since inception as of Dec 31, 2019

  • $271

    million

    in commitments to mission-aligned affordable housing loans

  • 6,810

    total deed-restricted affordable units supported*

  • 10,192

    total affordable units supported*

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT

Cities and regions across our tri-state market, including San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Fresno, Portland, and Seattle, are each experiencing an affordability crisis characterized by:

  • Soaring Rent and Home Prices + Increased Cost of Living

In 2018, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) ranked all metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and found San Francisco to be the most expensive jurisdiction in the nation for housing, followed by the greater San Jose area at second, and Oakland at third. Yet, while median rent in Alameda County has increased 29% since 2000, median renter income has only increased 3%.¹‚² In King County (where our Seattle branch is located) and Multnomah County (where our Portland branches are located), renters need to make $36.12 and $25.58 per hour, respectively, to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at fair market rent – that is nearly four times their respective minimum wages.³

 

Housing prices are driving costs of living out of reach for low income families in Alameda County. The chart shows that a family would need an income of $93,213 to meet their basic needs in Alameda County, with 28% of that going towards housing. However, based on the City of Oakland’s minimum wage income, a family would be making only $28,704 and half of median income is $52,300.

 

  • Rapidly Dwindling Supply of Affordable Housing

NLIHC’s 2019 report further indicates that California exhibits a deficit of 1,306,034 affordable housing units, Oregon a deficit of 135,746 units, and Washington a deficit of 234,362 units. In each state, the deficit of affordable housing units compared to rising demand far surpasses national averages in housing deficits. In the SF Bay Area alone there is a shortfall of 200,000 affordable units for low-income families and according to East Bay Housing Organizations, Oakland will need to develop nearly 15,000 units from 2015-2023. Los Angeles, with a deficit of over 600,000 units, has the fourth highest need in the U.S. In Multnomah County, Oregon, where we have six branches, there is an estimated shortage of 23,845 housing units. In the areas we serve, affordable housing shortages and increasing rents have led to a dwindling supply of affordable housing. Dire situations where too many people are not just paying high portions of their incomes for rent, but are no longer able to afford rent at all are becoming the norm.

Those who are most vulnerable to the painful loss of affordability are low-income people and communities of color–especially Black and Brown people–who have historically been and continue to be disinvested and robbed of the resources needed to secure stable housing. In this way, housing affordability is both a racial and economic justice issue.

OUR APPROACH AND IMPACT

Beneficial State Bank is committed to slowing down the disappearance of affordability and supporting the creation and preservation of housing in our tri-state market through a number of ways:

  • We target opportunities to finance conventional multifamily real estate (apartment buildings), and importantly, to grow our deed-restricted multifamily portfolio. This builds and retains places for individuals and families to live and stay in the communities they love.
  • We seek new and innovative solutions to secure permanent affordability and ownership opportunities by working with our clients and partners. This includes participating in housing loan programs with organizations such as Washington Community Reinvestment Association (WCRA) and Housing Trust Silicon Valley (HTSV). Together with these partners, we are able to provide financing devoted to apartments that are ensured to stay affordable for many years. We also support nonprofit housing organizations in our communities so that tenants may access resources when they need help fighting unjust evictions.
  • We track all affordability-related information about the housing units we support with our lending. This includes each unit’s affordability relative to region-specific income-based HUD limits, any special populations served (e.g., veterans, farmworkers, seniors, etc.), and provision of Section 8 vouchers, among other metrics. We also provide and track loans that support moderate income and market rate multi-family housing.

Together, the creation and preservation of these types of housing in our communities help to support rising demand overall and ensure that affordable units are being created and preserved now, rather than hoping that prices will drop when enough new units are built.

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