Media Moves

Apple allocates $2.5 bln for California affordable housing

November 5, 2019

Posted by Irina Slav

Apple announced a $2.5-billion package to finance affordable housing in California, where the problem is particularly acute.

CBS News reported the story:

Apple announced on Monday that it will donate $2.5 billion in the fight California’s housing crisis. Those funds include a $1 billion housing investment fund, a $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund and a plan to free up $300 million worth of land owned by Apple in San Jose to be used “for the development of affordable housing,” according to a news release.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company felt a “profound civic responsibility” to address a housing crisis that has led to the median home price in San Francisco to skyrocket to more than $1.4 million, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

“Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride,” Cook said. “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.”

Stephen Nellis from Reuters notes:

In an interview with Reuters, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company felt a “profound responsibility” to improve California’s housing crisis. Apple’s current headquarters – a ring of gleaming metal and glass nicknamed the “spaceship” in Cupertino, California – sits less than five miles from the suburban family home where co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak assembled the first Apple computers in the 1970s.

“We want to make sure that it is a vibrant place where people can live and also raise a family,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told Reuters in an interview. “And there’s no question that today that isn’t possible for many people, that the region suffers from an affordability crisis that is existential.”

The move comes after Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc-owned Google both committed $1 billion toward California housing initiatives while Microsoft Corp committed $500 million in the Seattle, Washington area.

TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez broke the sum down:

The investment includes a $1 billion commitment to an affordable housing investment fund, $1 billion toward a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund and $300 million in Apple-owned land, which will be made available for affordable housing.

Another $200 million will go to support new, lower-income housing in the Bay Area, including by way of a $150 million Bay Area housing fund, with partners like Housing Trust Silicon Valley. This will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants. Another $50 million will be directed toward vulnerable populations, specifically to address homelessness in the Silicon Valley area.

Apple says it also will look into similar efforts across both Northern and Southern California that are designed to prevent homelessness.

The company says the full commitment in the state — which is being done in partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom, the state of California and community-based organizations — will take approximately two years to be fully utilized, and will depend on the availability of projects. The capital returned to Apple will also be reinvested in future projects over the next five years.


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