Apple launching $2.5 billion initiative to tackle California's housing crisis

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Apple’s commitment includes a $1 billion affordable housing investment fund, a $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistant fund, $300 million worth of Apple land opened up for affordable housing, a $150 million Bay Area housing fund that will include long-term forgivable loans and grants, and $50 million to support vulnerable populations.

The $1 billion affordable housing investment fund will provide the state of California and others with an open line of credit to build new, very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost.

The first-time buyers fund will help homebuyers with financing and down payment assistance while increasing access to first-time homeownership for "essential service personnel, school employees and veterans."

“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. “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 says its funding commitment will take two years to be fully utilized, depending on the availability of projects. Returns from the company’s loans will be reinvested over the next five years.

Apple isn’t the first to try and address California’s housing problem. Both Google and Facebook have pledged to spend $1 billion each to help alleviate the crisis.

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Plutoisaplanet

TS Addict
The whole reason why there’s a housing problem is because there’s limited amount of room and therefore limited supply. What these initiatives are doing is further tipping the balance to increase demand, which is going to make the problem even worse...

Instead of providing jobs in the Silicon Valley, companies should look to the Central Valley which is enormous in comparison, significantly more affordable, and just about 50+ miles away. Everything is cheaper out there, so it would benefit employers and employees alike.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
IMO, its a step in the right direction. At least they are recognizing that there is a problem and that they, as a company that has more money than god, might be able to make a positive difference. Whether this will make things better remains to be seen.
 

brucek

TS Maniac
This extra funding would be great if the primary problem was that builders could not build housing for reasonable prices. But there's plenty of places where they can and they do.

The specific problem in most ofthe Bay Area is that virtually all available land is already built up to the density allowed by law (which is not very dense in most places when matched up to the amount of office space that is allowed by law.)

The only meaningful change will come if and when lawmakers and the voters who elect them want there to be more housing for more people (or stop allowing business expansion.) Until that day, the free market is doing what it can to equalize supply and demand, which is allow prices to raise to the point where the remaining buyers equals the available supply.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
One has to wonder if this will bring about the final extinction of the coast redwood, (Sequoia sempervirens ), in an effort to bring decks and lawn furniture to these dwellings.

Oh well, enjoy them while you still have them


FWIW, most of the homes, decks, and lawn furniture in Southern California are made from their wood, which has already put a huge dent in the population of these ancient and majestic giants.
 
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