Apple has unveiled a $2.5 billion plan to help ease Californiaʼs affordable housing crisis
The tech conglomerate headquartered in Cupertino, CA, plans to pump the money into accelerating new housing production, jump-starting long-term developments, helping first-time buyers and reducing homelessness.
“Before the world knew the name Silicon Valley, and long before we carried technology in our pockets, Apple called this region home, and we feel a profound civic responsibility to ensure it remains a vibrant place where people can live, have a family and contribute to the community,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride. When these things fall out of reach for too many, we know the course we are on is unsustainable, and Apple is committed to being part of the solution.”
Nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year and homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low.
Apple said it is partnering with Governor Gavin Newsom, the state of California and community-based organizations, to offer statewide housing support as well as funding for projects in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
“This unparalleled financial commitment to affordable housing, and the innovative strategies at the heart of this initiative, are proof that Apple is serious about solving this issue. I hope other companies follow their lead,” said Gavin Newsom, governor of California.
“The sky-high cost of housing — both for homeowners and renters — is the defining quality-of-life concern for millions of families across this state, one that can only be fixed by building more housing. This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that.”
Apple’s commitment includes a $1 billion affordable housing fund that gives the state an open line of credit to develop and build low- to moderate-income housing faster and cheaper.
Another $1 billion will be funneled into efforts to increase access to homeownership for essential service personnel, school employees and veterans.
The company will donate land worth $300 million for affordable housing development and provide $200 million to support new lower-income housing in the Bay Area.
In a public-private partnership, Apple is launching a new $150 million affordable housing fund with partners including Housing Trust Silicon Valley to support new affordable housing projects. The fund will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants.
Another $50 million will go to supporting “vulnerable populations” and driving systemic change for the homeless.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, commented, “Apple is committed to being a good neighbor and helping to write the next chapter of the region that has been a great home of innovation and creativity for generations.
Earlier this year, Google announced its commitment to invest $1 billion to produce 20,000 homes across the Bay Area. It’s first $50 million investment was made in July to the Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s TECH Fund.
The TECH Fund, which stands for Tech Equity Community Housing, launched in March of 2017 to provide affordable housing developers the financing needed for potential sites.
Companies including the Cisco Foundation, LinkedIn, NetApp and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation have all invested in the fund, which has raised $112 million to date.
Google’s new investment was the largest the TECH Fund has received thus far.