Apple is the latest technology giant to commit billions to combat the affordable housing crisis, following similar pledges from Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. The Silicon Valley company announced a $2.5 billion plan to address housing availability and affordability in California.
“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 Apple CEO Tim Cook. “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.”
Through its commitment, Apple will help accelerate and expand housing production, jump-start long-term developments, aid first-time buyers purchase homes, and support housing and programs to reduce homelessness. The company will provide funding for projects in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area as well as commit a significant investment for statewide support, including:
A statewide $1 billion affordable housing investment fund: This first-of-a-kind fund will provide the state and others with an open line of credit to develop new housing for very low- to moderate-income households faster and at a lower cost;
- A $1 billion first-time home buyer mortgage assistance fund: Working with the state, this fund will provide first-time homeownership opportunities for essential service personnel, school employees, and veterans;
- $300 million of Apple-owned land: The company plans to make available land it owns in San Jose for the development of new affordable housing;
- A $150 million Bay Area housing fund: The company is launching the fund, which will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants, with partners, including Housing Trust Silicon Valley, to support new affordable housing developments; and
- $50 million for vulnerable populations: This funding will support Destination: Home’s efforts to address Silicon Valley homelessness. The company also will identify similar efforts in Northern and Southern California to focus on strategies to end and prevent homelessness. One of the first projects Apple will fund to Destination: Home will be an expansion of the organization’s Homelessness Prevention System.
“We commend Apple for creating this new fund and we are excited to join in this partnership. As the leading nonprofit lender in the greater Bay Area, we know what kind of a difference this long-term, gap financing will make in the creation of more affordable housing. We also know firsthand the positive difference a safe, stable, and affordable home can make for everyone who calls this region home,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “Thanks to Apple’s contribution, Housing Trust will be able to provide the missing piece of the puzzle, long-term financing, to create thousands of new homes for a wide range of people.”