San Francisco

Dispatches from Silicon Valley's real estate market

San Francisco rowhouses with dollar signs floating above them
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Bay Area real estate has become so expensive that even engineers making six figures struggle to buy a home. Naturally, a cottage industry of startups has cropped up to offer solutions to the, er, cottage problem.

Driving the news: ZeroDown, the latest in this category, says it's helping its customers compete against even richer homebuyers. It makes an all-cash offer on their behalf and then allows them to build up a down payment for up to five years after that. Of course, the price of the home is steadily increasing the whole time.

A program to mask suspects' race for better charging decisions

Photo of a San Francisco police car in front of a courthouse
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Next month, the San Francisco District Attorney's office will begin using a computer program developed at Stanford to strip police reports of names, neighborhoods and other proxies for race like eye color or hairstyle.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to remove bias. Prosecutors decide whether to charge suspects based on police reports and evidence — but they're liable to be swayed by their own biases, which could lead them to bring charges more often against people of color.