California-based Apple plans a multi-pronged approach to ease California’s housing issues, starting with $400 million slated for affordable housing, mortgage and down payment assistance and an affordable housing investment program.
As part of the tech giant’s larger $2.5 billion commitment to battle the state’s housing crisis, the projects announced will include 250 new units of affordable housing across the Bay Area in partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the mortgage and down payment assistance fund and investment support program. Apple will also push for more construction of affordable housing with its partnership with Silicon Valley’s Destination: Home.
“At a time when so many members of our community are facing unprecedented challenges, we believe it’s critical to make sure that their hopes for the future are supported through tangible programs and results,” Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for global real estate and facilities, said in a statement. “As cities and states have been forced to pause many of their long-term affordable housing investments amidst the current public health crisis, Apple is proud to continue moving forward with our comprehensive plan to combat the housing crisis in California.”
California’s housing issues have led to a steep increase in homeless individuals, with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development tracking more than 150,000 people, the highest in over a decade, and a 17% increase year-over-year. California’s homeless population accounts for more than 50% of all people experiencing homelessness across the United States.
Apple isn’t the only tech company donating funds to help ease the crisis. Along with the state of California’s own multi-billion-dollar investments in programs, Google, Facebook and YouTube have joined the effort. In 2019, Google and Facebook both pledged $1 billion to address affordable housing in the Bay Area.
“Homelessness is a national crisis, one that’s spreading across the West Coast and cities across the country,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said earlier this year in a statement. “The state of California is treating it as a real emergency — because it is one.”
Apple’s Housing Trust Silicon agreement includes four projects in three regions to create 250 new units, many reserved for veterans, homeless or formerly homeless and those with developmental disabilities. This comes with the Destination: Home’s effort to fund construction of over 1,000 new units of what Apple calls “deeply affordable and supportive housing for the community’s most vulnerable populations.” This includes a new 80-unit project in Santa Clara designed for seniors currently or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
“Apple’s contribution could not have come at a more crucial time, as the COVID-19 pandemic has only made our work to end homelessness that much more urgent,” Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home’s CEO, says in a statement. “We were able to immediately invest their funding into several new housing developments that will provide a permanent home to vulnerable residents across the region and reinforce our Homelessness Prevention System at a time when we’re seeing an unprecedented number of at-risk families in need.”
As part of the November 2019 $2.5 billion commitment, Apple also made $300 million in Apple-owned land available for affordable housing.