First it was Google, then Facebook. Now, Apple has become the latest Silicon Valley titan to pledge billions of dollars to address California’s affordable housing crisis.
On Monday, the Cupertino-based company announced a $2.5 billion housing plan, according to the New York Times. About $1 billion will go to develop affordable housing — and like Google and Facebook — the plan includes building on Apple-owned land in San Jose. Another $1 billion will help first-time homebuyers find mortgages, according to the announcement.
This year, Google has pledged $1 billion and Facebook $500 million to help address the housing crisis in the Silicon Valley-San Francisco Bay Area, consistently one of the most expensive places to buy and rent homes.
Apple’s latest plan includes $150 million to support affordable housing in the Bay Area, partially through forgivable loans and grants, as well as $50 million to address homelessness, according to the report. Apple said the money could be spent within two years.
In July, Google partnered with Lendlease on a massive plan to build master-planned communities on land it owns in Silicon Valley cities. Those communities would take shape over the next 10-15 years and include 15,000 condominium and rental units.
Facebook’s plan calls for grants and loans to develop low- and middle-income housing, including on its own land. Microsoft has a $500 million affordable housing development plan in Seattle.
Tech companies have been under increasing pressure to help relieve California’s housing crisis, one of the worst in the country. Gov. Gavin Newsom met with some tech firms about the issue before taking office earlier this year. In January, he called for tech firms to contribute $500 million to a state-run workforce housing development fund that would be matched dollar for dollar with state funds. [NYT] — Dennis Lynch