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Ep.2: Holding onto Boomtown

Untold Returns: Adventures in Impact Investing episode 2 takes host Bethany McLean to San Francisco’s Mission District. She explores how impact investing is helping this booming real estate market keep middle-income families in their homes, so the bustling neighborhoods don’t lose the connection to the people and traditions that made them so desirable in the first place. Bethany learns how the city of San Francisco, community leaders and tech companies are coming together with impact investors to create ways for apartment buildings that are in danger of being taken upmarket to remain affordable.

We are really pushing policy makers to find alternative financing structures so that we can, while still keeping the real estate market alive, keep our families in place…

-Karoleen Feng

Director of Community Real Estate at the Mission Economic Development Agency

In this episode, Bethany talks with Karoleen Feng, Rich Gross, Caitlyn Fox and Rehana Nathoo about:

  • San Francisco’s Housing Accelerator Fund
  • The Small Sites Program
  • Opportunity Zones

About Our Guests

Karoleen Feng established MEDA's Community Real Estate program in 2014 to rebuild community assets in the Mission District after a decade-long absence of affordable-housing production in the neighborhood. She has been instrumental in jump-starting MEDA being joint venture partners for the Mission-Castro cluster of the San Francisco Housing Authority Rental Assistance Demonstration program, new construction of almost 500 apartments and preservation of dozens of small apartments off the private market. Read some of her blog posts, or read about her work in the San Francisco Chronicle, or San Francisco Business Times.

Rich Gross is vice president and Northern California market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc, as well as board president for the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund. He oversees Enterprise’s affordable housing, community development, investment and strategic programs for the San Francisco Bay Area. Those efforts include launching Enterprise’s role in a groundbreaking program to revitalize public housing in San Francisco, greening existing affordable housing, working with Bay Area communities on the foreclosure crisis and initiating investment in new affordable housing. He leads the Northern California effort to coordinate Enterprise solutions with partners and supports efforts to raise more capital for work throughout the state.

Caitlyn Fox currently serves as Director of Housing at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy that leverages technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to accelerate progress in Science, Education, and within Justice & Opportunity. Prior to that, at Redstone, Caitlyn helped design a new approach to planning and managing philanthropic efforts to engage the public, governments, and corporations. She also worked with the Packard Foundation to develop lessons about impact investing from their pioneering role and 30 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter.

Rehana Nathoo founded Spectrum Impact to help a range of organizations expand their impact investing footprint. Previously, she led the Impact Investing portfolio at the Case Foundation as Vice President of Social Innovation. Her work at the Case Foundation focused on empowering others with the tools, resources, and ultimately – expertise - to crowd in more capital to the impact investing sector. While at BNY Mellon, Rehana also created a prototype for the firm’s first impact investing Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Read her posts on Medium, or follow her on Twitter.


Learn More

Learn more about our guests and the issues and opportunities they spoke about:

We are really pushing policy makers to find alternative financing structures so that we can, while still keeping the real estate market alive, keep our families in place…

-Karoleen Feng

Director of Community Real Estate at the Mission Economic Development Agency