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Breakthrough Grant

In-Kind Support to California Agencies in Eligible
Counties to Promote Equitable and Affordable Housing

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Partnership for the Bay’s Future - San Francisco Foundation - Policy Fund

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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In-kind support to California government agencies in eligible counties to promote equitable and affordable housing. Eligible applicants are at risk of, or currently experiencing, the exclusion or displacement of low-income individuals and communities of color and are located in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

The Policy Fund is launching the Breakthrough Grants for Housing Production and Preservation (“Breakthrough Grants”), a program to catalyze policy innovation in building and preserving affordable housing in local communities. In a time of tough COVID-related budget and staffing constraints, the Breakthrough Grants provide increased capacity and tailored technical assistance that will support local breakthroughs in equitable housing solutions.

The Breakthrough Grants facilitate innovations in equitable housing solutions by:

  • Placing a dynamic, mission-driven fellow within local governments.
  • Funding community partners to work with local government to engage and activate the local community.
  • Supporting cohort success with peer learning opportunities and funding for technical assistance to help each cohort meet their policy goals.

The Policy Fund will select a cohort of jurisdictions that propose the most high-impact, yet realistically achievable plans to be a part of the Breakthrough Grants. The cohort will be made up of “core teams” working collaboratively to advance housing production and preservation policy across the Bay Area. A core team will consist of local government staff who work closely with their Breakthrough Grant fellow and a local community partner organization. This “inside-outside” partnership ensures community input and support for local policy and provides essential capacity to move the work forward.

Within the two-year grant period, each of the Breakthrough Grant jurisdictions will receive two years of capacity, community engagement, and tailored technical assistance support from the Policy Fund. After the program, participants will become part of the Policy Fund alumni program, and continue to have access to the Partnership network and other supports. Chosen jurisdictions will be expected to pass and/or implement a package of affordable housing production and preservation policies in collaboration with their community partners. For additional information, see "Why apply?" on the URL for Full Text (RFP).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196265

Term of Contract:

Two-year grant period.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The program is open to local governments in the Bay Area who apply in partnership with a community partner organization.

Breakthrough Grants are open to local governments (towns, cities, and counties) in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara that are currently experiencing, or at risk of experiencing displacement or exclusion of low-income people and communities of color.

The Policy Fund will accept applications from:
- Local government departments that play a lead role in housing, planning, community development, or other relevant areas,
- Local government departments partnering together, or
- Regional entities or jurisdictions partnering together (such as a county and a city within its borders). 

Jurisdictions that have previously received a Challenge Grant are eligible to apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join an information session on June 2 to learn more about the Breakthrough Grants.
Time: Jun 2, 2021 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due July 30, 2021 and awards will be announced in the Fall.

- May 2021: Breakthrough Grant application is released. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants who are seeking technical assistance in putting together their applications should request an Application Grant (in Contact Information, below).
- June 2, 2021: Information session.
- July 30, 2021: Breakthrough Grant proposals due.
- August 2021: Applications reviewed by the Policy Fund and finalists interviewed.
- September 2021: Award announcement .
Please note that these dates are subject to change.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Request an Application Grant:

Evita Chávez​
Associate Initiative Officer, Partnership for the Bay's Future

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara

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