Apple is the latest tech company to pledge a significant chunk of change to fight California’s deepening housing crisis.
The company announced Monday a commitment of $2.5 billion towards affordable housing, first-time homebuyer assistance program and making some of its land available for affordable housing, among other initiatives.
That’s not to say explicitly that Apple is prepared to spend $2.5 billion, as much of the money is in land giveaways, lines of credit and loan opportunities. The plan, according to Apple, was created with the help of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“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 said in a statement. “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 intends to create a $1 billion affordable housing investment fund that will provide the state and other entities with an open line of credit to develop and build very low- to moderate-income housing.
The company also intends to create a $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund and will explore ways to provide individuals – specifically essential service personnel, school employees and veterans – with down payment assistance.
The company also plans to allow $300 million worth of company-owned land in San Jose to be available for affordable housing, as well as earmarking $150 million for a Bay Area housing fund and $50 million for organizations working with the state’s neediest communities.
“We have worked closely with leading experts to put together a plan that confronts this challenge on all fronts, from the critical need to increase housing supply, to support for first-time homebuyers and young families, to essential philanthropy to assist those at greatest risk,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a statement. “Apple is committed to being a good neighbor and helping to write the next chapter of the region that has been a great home of innovation and creativity for generations.”
In June, tech giant Google also pledged $1 billion in an effort to create more affordable housing – including allowing the development of affordable housing on $750 million worth of Google-owned land – but an analysis of the proposal from Redfin found the investment wouldn’t be nearly enough to address the problem.
In October, Facebook also pledged $1 billion in an effort to right the area’s housing crisis. Microsoft was the first to kick off the trend, pledging $500 million in January to fight Seattle’s housing woes.
The move can also be seen as the very tech companies responsible for the boom in housing prices and home scarcity attempting to regain some goodwill from the communities they’ve impacted.