Apple makes massive housing splash with $2.5 billion pledge

Dwarfing all other Bay Area tech commitments, Apple on Monday
stepped up to fight the California housing crisis in a big way —
pledging an unprecedented $2.5 billion to the cause.

Apple’s pledge includes invested and donated funds, as well as
real estate, intended to help produce new affordable housing and
help first-time homebuyers in the Bay Area and throughout
California over the next two years. The move comes on the heels of
funding commitments by
Google
and
Facebook
— which each pledged $1 billion earlier this year
— as local companies increasingly are making an effort to address
the housing shortage that’s been exacerbated by the Silicon
Valley tech boom.

“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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a news
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.”

Pressure for Apple to act had been building for months, after
first Google and then Facebook ponied up hefty amounts of money and
real estate to address the housing shortage. This news organization
recently
reported
— as part of an examination of Silicon Valley land
ownership patterns in partnership with KQED, Reveal from the Center
for Investigative Reporting, NBC Bay Area and other organizations
— that Apple for years had remained conspicuously on the
sidelines. Some advocates criticized the company for failing to
include a meaningful contribution to housing with the construction
of its “Spaceship” campus in Cupertino. But with Monday’s
announcement, Apple dramatically surpassed both the Google and
Facebook pledges.

Apple’s commitment includes two main components, and will be
executed in partnership with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and local
Bay Area organizations. The first part is a $1 billion investment
fund, which will provide an open line of credit to the state and
others for the construction of housing for low to moderate-income
families throughout California. The second part is a $1 billion
first-time homebuyer assistance program: In partnership with the
state, Apple will provide financing and down payment assistance to
aspiring homeowners. Apple also will explore other ways to help
school employees, veterans and other essential service workers buy
homes.

“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,” Newsom
wrote in the Apple news release. “I hope other companies follow
their lead.”

On top of the $2 billion in housing investments, Apple is making
land the company owns in San Jose — worth about $300 million —
available for the development of new affordable housing. Apple’s
announcement did not specify where that land is, but the company
has been
scooping up property in North San Jose
.

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Apple also is providing $200 million to two Bay Area housing
organizations. The company is partnering with Housing Trust Silicon
Valley to launch a $150 million fund for local affordable housing,
using long-term forgivable loans and grants. And Apple is donating
$50 million to San Jose-based Destination: Home to combat
homelessness in Silicon Valley.

“We’re so grateful that Apple has made this significant
philanthropic commitment towards solving Silicon Valley’s growing
homelessness crisis,” Destination: Home CEO Jennifer Loving
wrote. “Apple’s contribution serves as an example of how
Silicon Valley companies can work in partnership with the public
and nonprofit sectors to address this huge challenge.”

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Apple makes massive housing splash with .5 billion pledge