Apple has announced it will take a big step in helping combat the housing crisis in California.
The tech giant revealed a $2.5 billion plan to help ease the housing and affordability crisis in the state, a problem that many believe it helped cause by drawing more workers to California. With the increasing number of workers flowing to California to work at these tech companies, the cost of living in the area has soared.
Apple's plan will involve putting $1 billion toward a fund run alongside state officials that will help push affordable housing projects to completion. The company said it "will provide the state and others with an open line of credit to develop and build additional new, very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost." The other $1 billion will provide financial assistance to first-time homebuyers that are in the nursing, teaching, policing or firefighting professions, to name a few. It is also planning to make the $300 million of land the company owns in San Jose open for affordable housing projects.
“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,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a press release. “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.”
Apple isn't the first tech company to offer assistance toward California housing initiatives — Facebook and Google have both committed $1 billion toward the effort. Microsoft put $500 million toward helping nearby Seattle. Apple said the funding may take two years to get started, but it plans to continue the funding for the future over the next five years.
“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,” California governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “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.”