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 tech company wants to expand new housing production, help first-time homebuyers purchase homes and support housing programs to reduce homelessness, Apple announced. Apple will allocate $1 billion to building new, low- to moderate-income housing. Another $1 billion will be dedicated to first-time homebuyers. Apple will also dedicate $300 million in land for the development of new affordable housing.
Apple will also donate $150 million to the Bay Area housing fund to support affordable housing projects. Finally, Apple will contribute $50 million to support Destination: Home, a group that helps the homeless in Silicon Valley.
“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,” Destination: Home CEO Jennifer Loving said in a statement.
The initiative focuses on the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley where Apple got has been since the beginning. Apple notes that the high cost of housing especially impacts teachers, police officers and firefighters, who are being forced to leave the community.
“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.”
NPR recently reported that California will need to build 3 million new homes by 2025 to keep pace with the growth.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Apple’s “unparalleled financial commitment” to affordable housing.
“The sky-high cost of housing — both for homeowners and renters — is the defining quality-of-life concern for millions of families across this state, one that can only be fixed by building more housing,” Newsom said. “This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that.”