Apple to donate $2.5 billion to combat California housing crisis
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.”
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. Though Apple is located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Cupertino, the company claims its funds will impact communities statewide.
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.” The news follows a recent announcement that Facebook is pledging $1 billion tackle California’s housing crisis.
Apple will also launch a $150 million Bay Area housing fund “to support new affordable housing projects,” the company said. “The fund will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants.”
An additional $50 million will go toward Destination: Home, a nonprofit committed to ending homelessness in Santa Clara County. Apple is hoping to identify and fund similar organizations across the state.
“We’re so grateful that Apple has made this significant philanthropic commitment towards solving Silicon Valley’s growing homelessness crisis,” Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home’s CEO, said in a statement:
“With this generous contribution, we’ll be able to scale two proven strategies for reducing homelessness in our community: the production of more permanently affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents and an expansion of prevention programs that help at-risk families remain stably housed.”