Apple Inc. has become the latest big tech company to make a financial commitment to address housing shortages in California, pledging a whopping $2.5 billion to solve a lack of affordable and available homes in the state.
Apple’s pledge comes at a time when homeownership rates in the Bay Area are at a seven year low. Moreover, a recent survey of Californian millennials by Edelman Intelligence revealed that as many as 63% are considering leaving the state due to the high costs of housing.
It’s a big problem, and one that Apple feels it is compelled to help fix.
“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. “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’s commitment follows similar pledges from the likes of Facebook, which said last month it’s putting aside $1 billion towards affordable housing. Google has also committed $1 billion to the problem, while Microsoft announced a $500 million investment in affordable housing projects in Seattle, its main base.
Apple’s $2.5 billion pledge dwarfs those of its rivals, with the money being earmarked for new home construction, a new first-time buyer fund, and various other programs to support new housing and reduce homelessness in the state. Around $300 million of the amount will come in the form of land in San Jose owned by the company, which will be used to build new homes on.