HEART awards $25K in grants from new Facebook fund for Menlo Park and East Palo Alto

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Facebook donation enables new HEART grant fund. MidPen Housing and Ableworks receive awards.

HEART  has awarded two grants of $12,500 each to MidPen Housing and AbleWorks for immediate support of new affordable housing programs in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. This new fund was established in 2012, thanks to a generous grant of $25,000 from Facebook. Lori Goler, Facebook Vice President of People, announced the donation as part of her keynote address at HEART’s 2012 annual May fundraising lunch. Read the full press release here.

MidPen Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Foster City, will use the grant for a site and design feasibility study for a proposed upgrade to their existing Menlo Gateway property in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park. The City is supportive of adding 78 additional units to the 130-unit affordable family rental housing, located on Willow Road, and has slated it to be upzoned as part of the Housing Element process.

AbleWorks, a nonprofit in East Palo Alto supporting leadership, financial and housing programs, recently acquired a four-unit apartment complex on Poplar Avenue. They will use the grant to help rehabilitate and reconstruct the property into dorms for 10 low-income students attending local colleges and participating in academic support programs.

“We are delighted to be able to support the development and construction of new affordable homes for working families and students in our own backyard,” said John Tenanes, Director of Global Facilities and Real Estate for Facebook.

“HEART is extremely grateful to Facebook, one of our county’s newest employers, for their investment in our community. This is a wonderful example of our community working together to provide affordable homes for our residents,” said San Mateo City Councilmember Jack Matthews, the chair of HEART’s board of directors.