Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces $1 billion plan to build 20,000 Silicon Valley homes

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Unfortunately for "normal" citizens and even big tech employees, the collateral damage has been quite significant. Housing is tough to find in the area, and what is available can be expensive and impractical for workers on the lower rungs of the tech ladder (or minimum-wage employees in other industries).

Google, one of Silicon Valley's biggest companies, is hoping to address this issue moving forward. In an announcement published today, company CEO Sundar Pichai announced his plan to spend a whopping $1 billion over the next 10 years with the end goal of constructing over 20,000 homes for San Francisco's Bay Area residents.

15,000 of these homes will be available for those with "all" income levels, but 5,000 will be built specifically to house "middle and low-income families." Furthermore, Google will be offering up a total of $50 million in grants to any nonprofits who focus on the "issues of homelessness and displacement."

It remains to be seen whether or not Google can pull off this ambitious plan, but for now, Pichai seems confident his company can keep their word.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
It's a nice gesture even if it is very self serving. If he were really concerned it would push it out of the big cities into some more rural areas where it's really needed .....
 

Rock Dirty

TS Rookie
It will be great if he/they can do this on some empty land here in the Valley (bwahaahahaha), but if they're going to displace some low-income people to build these homes then maybe not so great...
 

brucek

TS Maniac
Money has not been the missing ingredient. It's permission to build.

When you look at the ludicrous cost of housing in the areas around Google's Mountain View HQ, the high numbers are not from the construction portion. Pretty often the houses themselves are still basically starter homes, with structure valued only in the low hundreds of thousands. What is stratospheric is the land underneath them, a million dollars or more for a small plot, and that's because there are a lot more people who wants home than there is land zoned for homes (although next door Palo Alto is I believe zoned nearly 50% open park land.)

If these cities aren't willing to approve higher density construction and/or more land for development, all the money in the world isn't going to do anything to house any more people.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Would you live in a house owned by Google?

I imagine Instead of pictures on the walls, you'll have screens with ads on them which you can remove if you buy a premium subscription. Wrongthink will get you deplatformed but literally and there are cameras and microphones all over the place. :)
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Money has not been the missing ingredient. It's permission to build.

When you look at the ludicrous cost of housing in the areas around Google's Mountain View HQ, the high numbers are not from the construction portion. Pretty often the houses themselves are still basically starter homes, with structure valued only in the low hundreds of thousands. What is stratospheric is the land underneath them, a million dollars or more for a small plot, and that's because there are a lot more people who wants home than there is land zoned for homes (although next door Palo Alto is I believe zoned nearly 50% open park land.)

If these cities aren't willing to approve higher density construction and/or more land for development, all the money in the world isn't going to do anything to house any more people.
You also need permission to break ground. California has very strict environmental laws and the California Environmental Quality Act requires developers to involve the public in their decisions. This allows the people of the community to have a say in what's developed there. It's been used to stop developments in the past, and I can't imagine people who own expensive homes will want low-income housing being built in their neighborhood.

Maybe Pichai is rich enough to pay everyone off, but he may run into the same things that have stopped other developers. He doesn't have to actually make money like a normal developer, so that might help some.
 

Bp968

TS Booster
Or you know, they could open a HQ in one of the 49 other states with vastly lower costs of living and plenty of room for housing. We haven't needed to be in the same location for decades now, especially for tech industry businesses. Why the obsession with being located in silicon valley? Locate the businesses somewhere people can actually buy property.