Apple CEO Tim Cook said “affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride"

By Rachel DeSantis
November 04, 2019 04:53 PM
(L-R) Tim Cook, Gavin Newsom
Apple

Apple has pledged $2.5 billion to helping fight the housing availability and affordability crisis in California.

The tech giant, based in Cupertino, California, announced the contribution in a statement on Monday, saying it was committed to expanding production of new housing, helping first-time buyers purchase homes, launching long-term developments and supporting programs to combat homelessness.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the Silicon Valley company feels a “profound civic responsibility” to keeping the area livable, a growing problem as housing prices continue to skyrocket and more and more residents leave town.

“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 money will put $1 billion toward an affordable housing investment fund, which will give the state and others “an open line of credit to develop and build additional new, very low- to moderate- income housing faster and at a lower cost.”

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Another $1 billion will go to a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, which will help homeowners with financing and down payment assistance.

Apple will commit $300 million to company-owned and available land in San Jose for affordable housing, $150 million will go to Bay Area housing fund, and another $50 million will support vulnerable populations through Destination: Home, an organization that addresses homelessness.

One of the first projects that’ll come from that collaboration will be to expand the organization’s Homelessness Prevention System, which offers employment help, legal aid, rent subsidy and more.

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The plan — which will take approximately two years to be fully utilized — is part of a partnership with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state itself, as well as community-based organizations.

Newsom praised Apple in a statement, and described the initiative as an “unparalleled financial commitment.”

“I hope other companies follow their lead,” he said. “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. This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that.”

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Nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June this year, according to Redfin.

As The New York Times reported, California has added 308 housing units for every 1,000 new residents since 2005.

In the Bay Area specifically, 676,000 new jobs have been added since 2011, and only 176,000 new housing units have been built.

Apple follows the lead of other tech companies like Microsoft, which pledged $500 million to affordable housing in Seattle in January, and Facebook, which committed $1 billion to housing affordability in California last month.

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