Newsom wants Silicon Valley tech firms to loan $500M to tackle housing shortage

The governor envisions California matching with an additional $500M for a program that could lead to the construction of thousands of homes

Jan.January 16, 2019 09:00 AM
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to cook up some housing with funds from Silicon Valley companies

Developers in California could have a new source of capital for workforce.

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants Silicon Valley tech companies to lend $500 million in low-interest cash to developers to build housing for middle-class Californians, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Continuing his early push for more housing days after taking office, Newsom plans to match the $500 million with public money set aside for the development of workforce housing, creating a pool of $1 billion available to developers.

Newsom said he’s already spoken with some tech companies over the last six months about the plan. Carl Guardino, head of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, expressed his support for the program. The public policy group has more than 350 members, including the largest — and most valuable — companies in Silicon Valley like Facebook, Google, and eBay.

Reserved workforce housing is typically limited to people with incomes that fall within a certain window above the Area Median Income, according to the Times. In Los Angeles, AMI is around $69,300 a year, so a family of four making $83,000 could qualify.

The proposed program could boost housing supply in a state in desperate need of housing, it also means that money would not go toward building housing for the neediest: low-income residents.

Newsom has vowed to address that crisis, too, saying at his swearing-in ceremony earlier this month he would “launch a Marshall Plan for affordable housing.” [LAT] — Dennis Lynch

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