Tech giant Apple is planning to commit $2.5 billion to address affordable housing in California, adding to the list of tech companies that are putting up huge sums of money to deal with housing conditions in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Part of Apple’s commitment includes $1 billion into an affordable housing investment fund, $1 billion to a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, $300 million Apple-owned and available land for affordable housing, $150 million for a Bay Area housing fund, and $50 million to support vulnerable populations.
Apple said it designed this initiative to accelerate and expand new housing production; jump-start long-term developments that would otherwise not be possible; help first-time buyers purchase homes; and support new housing and programs to reduce homelessness, after extensively studying the issue and listening to different perspectives.
“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 Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a prepared release.
Apple isn’t the first Silicon Valley big tech company to contribute to solving affordable housing.
This summer, Google invested $50 million in Housing Trust Silicon Valley‘s TECH Fund. Google also announced in June that it would be investing $1 billion for housing construction in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as creating a $250 million fund to build affordable housing units across the Bay Area.
Google also announced it would be giving $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement.
Facebook also recently said it would commit $1 billion to affordable housing.
Meanwhile, Apple expects the funding commitment to take two years to complete, and any capital that is returned to Apple will be reinvested in other projects over the next five years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low, with prices continuing to lead the pack among the most expensive in the country.
For example, although the median home price in Sacramento is $415,000, it’s one of the most affordable markets for homebuyers living in northern California.
“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,” Cook said.
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