Apple deploys another $300M as part of housing pledge

Tech firm has helped fund development or preservation of about 4,500 affordable homes across state

Apple ceo Tim Cook with Veterans Square (Apple, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Apple CEO Tim Cook with Veterans Square (Apple, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Apple has deployed an additional $300 million to address California’s housing crisis, bringing the iPhone maker past the halfway point in its $2.5 billion pledge, according to its latest progress update.

Cupertino-based Apple has funded the development or preservation of 4,500 affordable homes across the state, more than half of which are in the Bay Area, it said Monday on its website. Similar to past progress updates in July 2020 and 2021, the company shared specific details on only a handful of projects it has funded in partnership with the California Housing Finance Agency, the nonprofit Destination: Home, and the Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

In its latest update, it highlights Veterans Square, a 30-unit housing complex in Pittsburg, 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) developed the project, which received financing from Apple and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, among others.

The complex opened in March with units set aside for formerly homeless veterans and those with serious mental illnesses, according to SAHA’s website.

Apple’s pledge consists of a $1 billion affordable housing investment fund with the state of California, a $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance program, $300 million worth of land the company owns that it has made available for affordable housing, a $150 million Bay Area housing fund in partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and a $50 million donation to Destination: Home to support the nonprofit’s goal of ending homelessness in Silicon Valley.

That donation is spread over five years; Destination: Home is in year three of the grant and has received $20 million for housing projects and programs thus far, according to its policy officer, Chelsea Muller. Apple’s commitment to the Housing Trust, part of its $2.5 billion plan announced in November 2019, is over 10 years, said Nazmin Bishop, the trust’s chief development officer.

Apple has so far deployed $1.3 billion toward its total commitment. It’s unclear how much capital it has allocated to the billion-dollar housing investment fund or the mortgage assistance program. Moreover, no housing has been built on any company-owned land designated as the site of future affordable homes.

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The update came the same day as Google’s latest progress report on its $1 billion pledge to address the Bay Area’s housing shortage. The search engine company said in a Monday blog post that it has deployed $128 million so far, which will help fund the construction of about 3,200 homes in the region.

While Google’s long-term goal is to see 20,000 new homes built in the Bay Area, whether through projects it’s helped fund or company-sponsored developments, Apple hasn’t publicly disclosed such a number. A company spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

That’s not to say Apple isn’t making progress on its pledge. Since its July 2021 update, Destination: Home has funded almost 600 additional supportive and extremely low-income homes in the Bay Area through the company’s grant. Apple’s affordable housing investment vehicle with the California Housing Finance Agency has funded almost 2,000 units statewide. However, the latest progress report didn’t specify how much of that money went toward developing new homes and how much went toward preserving existing ones as affordable.

Meantime, Apple’s Bay Area housing fund, a partnership between it and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, has provided capital to Veterans Square and nine other affordable projects in the Bay Area, collectively totaling 800 new units. Seven are under construction and two are expected to break ground by the end of the year, Bishop wrote in an email.

That total number of developments has remained the same since Apple’s July 2021 update, implying that the partnership hasn’t funded any additional ones in the year since. Bishop said the trust will approve funding for new projects on an ongoing basis, but didn’t say whether it’s done so since Apple’s last update.

UPDATED, July 28, 4:53 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to include more information on the projects funded by Apple’s Bay Area housing fund, courtesy of Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s Nazmin Bishop. 

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Google and Alphabet ceo Sundar Pichai with a rendering of Meridian, a 90-unit affordable housing development, in Sunnyvale, California (Steinberg Hart, Illustration by The Real deal with Getty)
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