Apple Commits $2.5 Billion Towards Tackling California Housing Crisis

Tim Cook and California Governor Gavin Newsom discussing the San Jose land Apple is making available for affordable housing

"This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that", Newsom continued.

"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. "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". The news follows a recent announcement that Facebook is pledging $1 billion tackle California's housing crisis.

The first-time buyers fund will help homebuyers with financing and down payment assistance while increasing access to first-time homeownership for "essential service personnel, school employees and veterans".

Apple will make available about 42 acres of land in northern San Jose, Calif., valued at $300 million on which it hopes almost 3,800 affordable housing units can be built. This will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants.

It will also offer $50 million to support the efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley with the nonprofit group Destination: Home.

Apple pledged $2.5 billion Monday to help address the housing crisis in California, where an estimated 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year.

The initiatives will take about two years to be fully funded and Apple says it will reinvest any capital that is returned over the next five years.

Almost 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year according to real estate news and analysis website Redfin. Apple plans on contributing to change the factors affecting homelessness and to come up with ways to prevent it in the future.

Apple will be working with community-based organizations, the state of California and Governor Gavin Newsom, who praised the news and encouraged other companies to "follow their lead".

"This unparalleled financial commitment [is] proof that Apple is serious about solving this issue" Newsom said in a press release acknowledging the financial boon. By one estimate, as NPR recently noted, the state must build more than 3 million new homes by 2025.

What do you think of Apple's efforts to battle the California housing crisis?

"We're so grateful that Apple has made this significant philanthropic commitment towards solving Silicon Valley's growing homelessness crisis", said Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home's CEO.

"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", said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Axios also reported on some of the radical moves localities are using to try to solve the housing problem, including Minneapolis and the state of OR, where single family units have been banned.

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