Apple Announces $2.5B Plan to Aid Housing Crisis

November 5, 2019

Tech companies this year have been committing billions to responding to housing shortages in the Golden State. Apple is the latest, announcing this week that it would allocate $2.5 billion to help address the housing availability and affordability crisis in California.

Homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low. Sixty-three percent of millennials surveyed earlier this year said they were considering moving out of California due to high housing costs, according to a survey conducted by Edelman Intelligence.

“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,” says 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 announcement comes on the heels of Facebook, which announced last month it would devote $1 billion toward housing. In June, Google announced a $1 billion commitment in land and money to build homes to ease the housing crisis in the East Bay Area. Other tech companies have followed suit, such as Microsoft’s $500 million pledge toward affordable housing in Seattle, and Airbnb’s $25 million program toward affordable housing in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County.

Apple says its $2.5 billion will go to expand new housing production, establish a first-time home buyer fund, and support new housing and programs to reduce homelessness. About $300 million of the funds includes its Apple-owned land in San Jose that will be made available for constructing affordable housing. Apple is working with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to distribute the funds.

“The sky-high costs 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. This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that,” says Newsom.