Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr

The Chan Zuckerberg Foundation (founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan) is giving away $5 million to assist teachers with down payments. The initiative will help 60 teachers in three San Mateo counties: Redwood City, Ravenswood City and Sequoia Union — all close to Facebook’s headquarters. These districts rank among the most expensive housing markets in America.

The Chan Zuckerberg Foundation is partnering with San Francisco Y Combinator startup Landed, whose mission statement is to “help essential professionals build financial security near the communities they serve.” They’ve pledged to pay up to half of an educator’s 20 percent home down payment with zero interest or monthly payments. In an effort to keep the initiative self-sustaining, Landed will take up to 25 percent of the appreciation or depreciation of the home’s value when it is sold or refinanced, with the intention of then putting that money back into the fund for more teachers. One caveat: if a teacher does not want to sell or refinance the home at the end of the investment period, they’ll have to pay back Landed. Those investment periods last anywhere between 10 and 30 years.

Jonathan Asmis, co-founder Landed, wrote, “We need to try new, market-based approaches to improve access to expensive housing for those who serve our communities… It’s time to uphold those who uphold us.”

This isn’t the first time Facebook has ponied up cash for affordable housing initiatives. Late last year, Facebook, with a current market value of $440 billion, donated $20 million towards a partnership focused on improving housing and economic opportunity. Hopefully these continued philanthropic measures make it easier for teachers to own homes near the schools where they work.

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