Apple steps up to fight California housing crisis with $2.5 billion seed

The company announced this massive plan that is supposed to help address the housing availability and affordability in California.

California housing crisis

The California housing crisis is seemingly getting worse as more people are leaving the state or just straight up becoming homeless. Whatever political leanings you favor the fact remains that the state needs to do something to help its own. Until that happens, Apple has announced its own efforts to battle the California housing crisis.

Apple is pledging $2.5 billion dollars toward the effort and regardless of how you feel about Apple, that’s a good thing. The company today announced this massive plan that is supposed to help address the housing availability and affordability in California. Housing and rent costs in California are crazy high and affordable housing is scarce. Apple says that nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year1and homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low.

“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, 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.”

Tim Cook

The $2.5 billion Apple plan to battle the California housing crisis is broken down into 5 areas of support:

  • $1 billion: Affordable housing investment fund
  • $1 billion: First-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund
  • $300 million: Apple-owned and available land for affordable housing
  • $150 million: Bay Area housing fund
  • $50 million: to support vulnerable populations

“This unparalleled financial commitment to affordable housing, and the innovative strategies at the heart of this initiative, are proof that Apple is serious about solving this issue. I hope other companies follow their lead,” said Gavin Newsom, governor of California. “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.”

Gavin Newsom

California housing crisis Apple
Apple destination home build site.

“We’re so grateful that Apple has made this significant philanthropic commitment towards solving Silicon Valley’s growing homelessness crisis,” said Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home’s CEO. “With this generous contribution, we’ll be able to scale two proven strategies for reducing homelessness in our community: the production of more permanently affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents and expansion of prevention programs that help at-risk families remain stably housed. Apple’s contribution serves as an example of how Silicon Valley companies can work in partnership with the public and nonprofit sectors to address this huge challenge, and I hope others will follow their lead in the weeks and months ahead.”

Jennifer Loving