On Monday, Apple announced plans to contribute $2.5 billion to fight the California housing crisis. The plan includes $1 billion to go towards affordable housing investment funds and programs to support first time home owners. An Apple property in San Jose is also slated to be turned into an affordable housing property.
Other tech companies including Facebook and Google are also contributing to combating the spike in homelessness in California, which many connect to the mass influx of employees these companies have drawn to the state. In San Jose home prices have roughly doubled since 2012. Facebook and Google have each pledged $1 billion to go towards grants and loans that address housing issues in California. In Seattle, Washington Microsoft has committed $500 million to affordable housing plans.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California said regarding the new funding, “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.”
Also included in Apple’s plans are $150 million for loans and grants for affordable housing in the Bay Area and $50 million that will be donated to Destination: Home to address issues of homelessness in Silicon Valley. Destination: Home’s CEO, Jennifer Loving, said about the donation, “We’re so grateful that Apple has made this significant philanthropic commitment towards solving Silicon Valley’s growing homelessness crisis. With this generous contribution, we’ll be able to scale two proven strategies for reducing homelessness in our community: the production of more permanently affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents and an expansion of prevention programs that help at-risk families remain stably housed.”
What efforts to combat homelessness exist in your area? How can we as consumers help hold major tech companies like Apple accountable?