Apple commits $2.5 billion to combat housing crisis in California

Apple today announced a comprehensive $2.5 billion plan to help address the housing availability and affordability crisis in California. As costs skyrocket for renters and potential homebuyers — and as the availability of affordable housing fails to keep pace with the region’s growth — community members like teachers, firefighters, first responders and service workers are increasingly having to make the difficult choice to leave behind the community they have long called home. Nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year and 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, in a statement. “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 commits $2.5 billion to combat housing crisis in California

Apple designed its initiative to accelerate and expand new housing production; jump-start long-term developments that would otherwise not be possible; help first-time buyers purchase homes; and support new housing and programs to reduce homelessness, after extensively studying the issue and listening to different perspectives. In partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom, the state of California and community-based organizations, Apple is providing a significant investment that offers statewide housing support as well as funding for projects in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

Apple’s commitment to the state of California includes:

• $1 billion affordable housing investment fund: The $1 billion commitment to the state of California is a first-of-its-kind affordable housing fund that will provide the state and others with an open line of credit to develop and build additional new, very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost.

• $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund: Working with the state, this first-time homebuyer fund will provide aspiring homebuyers with financing and down payment assistance. Apple and the state will explore strategies to increase access to first-time homeownership opportunities for essential service personnel, school employees and veterans.

• $300 million Apple-owned land will be available for affordable housing: Apple intends to make available land it owns in San Jose worth approximately $300 million for the development of new affordable housing.

The funding commitment to California is expected to take approximately two years to be fully utilized depending on the availability of projects. Capital returned to Apple will be reinvested in future projects over the next five years.

In addition to these initiatives, Apple is working to identify private developers who, with the right financing and investment, are ready to start construction on affordable housing projects in the Bay Area immediately.

Apple will also provide $200 million to support new lower-income housing and help some of the most vulnerable populations in the Bay Area:

• $150 million Bay Area housing fund: In a public-private partnership, Apple is launching a new $150 million affordable housing fund with partners including Housing Trust Silicon Valley to support new affordable housing projects. The fund will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants.

• $50 million to support vulnerable populations: Apple will donate $50 million to support Destination: Home’s efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley. Apple will focus its contribution on driving systemic change across the many factors affecting homelessness. Apple will also be identifying similar efforts in Northern and Southern California, focusing on strategies that both end and prevent homelessness.

“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, in a statement. “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 an 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.”

One of the first projects Apple will fund as part of its philanthropic commitment to Destination: Home will be an expansion of the organization’s Homelessness Prevention System, a network of service providers offering employment assistance, legal aid, rent subsidy, case management and other support to reduce homelessness.

“We have worked closely with leading experts to put together a plan that confronts this challenge on all fronts, from the critical need to increase housing supply, to support for first-time homebuyers and young families, to essential philanthropy to assist those at greatest risk,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, in a statement. “Apple is committed to being a good neighbor and helping to write the next chapter of the region that has been a great home of innovation and creativity for generations.”

By putting its $2.5 billion investment to use across multiple initiatives and partners, Apple’s housing initiative offers a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach to address some of the most urgent challenges facing affordable housing in California. This initiative is a major step, and Apple will continue looking for ways to support communities and affordable housing.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, there are many reasons why people have left San Francisco beyond housing affordability. Even those who can afford housing have reasons why they do not want to live in San Francisco.

That said, only Apple would do this even though many other companies could, they don’t. This is yet another reason why U.S. consumers should support Apple, not some South Korean dishwasher maker, for one of myriad examples.

Apple leads. Hopefully, many more companies will follow Apple’s lead, as usual.


  1. Bravo! The other tech firms have not taken responsibility for their role in the explosive rise in housing prices that has driven the homelessness crisis in Silicon Valley (and Austin). Apple at least realizes that you cannot maintain a livable community if the folks who repair potholes, sweep floors, and collect trash cannot afford to live there… to say nothing of public school teachers and first responders.

    1. And the homeless in Austin say…”yeah, Austin’s well known…people give you food and money…it’s the place to go.”

      Being heartless isn’t the choice, but “gifting” people in that situation isn’t necessarily the best/automatic decision. Such actions condition a broad section of the homeless population to live “as-is.” Meanwhile, the tax-paying and law abiding citizens of such a place experience degraded aesthetics, health and personal security.

      Meanwhile, the City of Austin Mayor is to announce the purchase of a number of the City’s hotels to house the homeless. Considering the mountains of trash that appeared soon after the Mayor’s fairly recent decision to remove the City’s ordinance, to allow public camping on City streets, I’ll guess that same stellar block of citizens, that dirtied and destroyed the public places, will do the same to the hotels “gifted” in light of their plight. Most of the homeless could give a “Flying F” about such a “gift.” For those truly looking for a harbor as they recoup and get back on track…yes, a gift to them makes sense. The same extension should be made for those incapacitated by mental illness, but for the vast majority of homeless though, a metal building protecting them from the wind and sun, fresh water and some sort of toilet would be proportionate to their needs and intentions.

      I’d wager to say, btw, the vast majority of the Austin homeless aren’t there because of “explosive housing prices”. They like being under the stars and not having to answer to anyone. No amount of spending can help that.

  2. Apparently now it’s Apple’s duty to do what the government is supposed to do? Throwing shareholder money at a failed system (that will continue to fail) to benefit people who have nothing to do with Apple is deeply misguided, and wasteful.

    1. G and Tron… your comments are right on target. Apple will be doing the work that an efficient government should be doing. Cali is going down the tubes. A couple of years ago, I visited the state and was shocked to see how much the infrastructure had devolved and how people were not happy.
      It’s failed policies are the cause of this mess. Kudos to Apple for trying, but if taxes were lowered and government shrunk, the market would correct itself and result in the sustainable paradise it once was
      As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation… let’s hope we can correct this mess by putting the right people with sustainable policies in the seats of power…

        1. Yea you did. So all the “successes” of the last few decades are all on you and the left. You own them. Including the over fertilization by way of human excrement of its cities. Fires because you failed to do basic tree thinning. Power outages. Hey, youre just like the socialist hell holes you aspire to. Congrats. Mission accomplished.

    2. I hope apple gets sued by the shareholders. You cannot just disgorge and give out shareholder money of that significance without at least a board vote, and likely a shareholder vote.

      Not to mention if they give it to the useless govt of California and SF it will just be a colossal waste of money it’s not a lack of money that is the root of the problem there, but failed governance and government.

      But more to the point, that is a serious amount of money that affects shareholders, and it’s not Apple managements money to give. I hope they get sued and sued good.

        1. 3.1million is a round off error and I wouldnt complain about it. How about apple give 150BN? Why stop there, it’s entire market cap. Why not also force the shareholders not only to lose all their stock, but force them to give up all their property as well.

          The management are stewards of the shareholders money and investment. They cannot simply take all the shareholders money and spend it however they like. Not for ill and not for noble ends. Shareholders didnt give money to apple to invest in charities. If apple wants, it could incorporate a new company that has that express purpose, and see how many people invest in it.

          In the mean time, this is a very substantial amount that belongs to shareholders, and I hope the shareholders sue. This should have gone to a shareholder vote as it is a very substantial amount of the shareholders’ money.

          For smaller sums, like 3M or amounts that really are round off errors to marketing campaigns, I think it’s reasonable to leave that to the discretion of management as those may very reasonably bee seen as good marketing and brand management.

    3. Since when is “the government” supposed to feed, clothe, and house the lazy bums that come from 49 other states for warm weather, cheap drugs, and easy living? Your vote, your representatives, your choice. It is a democracy, remember?

      Voters choose the public policies, not the other way around. Interestingly, however, so-called conservatives ignore the trends they see before their eyes in their states. You see the identical trends that happen in Cali (warm weather, cheap drugs, massive domestic immigration, typical urban problems) happening also in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, etc. In almost all urban areas, taxes are hiked to pay for social needs because wages and christian charity isn’t even coming close to filling the needs. In rural areas, where the TEA party still holds sway, gross poverty holds the underclasses in a 3rd world lifestyle with little to no avenues for prosperity. That’s just not going to fly in “progressive” areas. Voters’ conscious prompts humanitarian policies to win in the end. That is a large part of why California economically outperforms the SEC football fan region handily on most measures of economic success, technological progress, health, happiness, and so forth. Still the extreme income disparity grows, and that is the real problem. Apple is only taking the tiniest step toward putting a bandaid on problems it and other self-serving corporate gorillas created.

      Perhaps the broken system is the Wall Street centric model where selected unaccountable corporate bureaucrats give themselves hundreds of millions in compensation instead of establishing a meritocracy, systematically sharing profits at all levels in the company so that all can improve their communities. In corporations today, you can get away with all kinds of financial games. The only thing that can get you fired is if someone catches you in an affair. Perhaps that’s why Timmy thinks he’s empowered to dabble in social causes with pocket change rather than reviewing compensation issues in house. If Apple wanted to make the world a better place, it would stop buying back stock and start spending its money getting tech into the hands of unprivileged youth from coast to coast.

  3. What makes you think that none of the people who cannot find affordable housing have anything to do with Apple? Tim Cook does not personally clean the bathrooms, guard the doors, or fix potholes in the roads leading to the plant. What is your solution to the “failed system?” We can’t all live on subsistence farms in the wilderness. So long as we live in towns and cities, somebody has to occupy the left side of the bell-shaped income curve.

      1. What makes you think that every Apple employee and contractor can afford to live in or near Cupertino? We are told that nobody should spend more than ⅓ of their income on housing. The average monthly rent for a 966 square foot apartment in Cupertino is $3524, and is rising at 10% per year. How many ordinary workers do you know who make $127,000/year and expect a 10% raise so they won’t have to move? Apple pays its janitors well, but not that well. Likewise with the municipal street and sanitation workers who provide Apple with critical infrastructure services.

  4. This is all because California’s democrats love any tax they can think of, and the Orange Monkey took away SALT which basically hurts the middle class more than the rich. Then Newsom (the Gov) has the gall to start an investigation on why gas prices are so high here. Newsom, ust look in the morror, your party raised gas and vehicle registration taxes solely by itself. Rammed that down California’s throats. Throwing money at this will never solve the problem. Lower taxes, bring back SALT exemptions, and get a grip democats. California can once again be semi affordable but they are addicted to tax money so it won’t happen.

  5. “Only Apple would do this”.

    Well, Microsoft put up a half a billion for homelessness, low income, and affordable housing in the Puget Sound area in January of this year. Looks to me like Apple is just following their lead, albeit with considerably more $$.

      1. Emperor Nero, crazy though he was, opened his palace to house the plebians in the wake of the Rome fire. Historians however have focused on his late stage madness and excesses.

        One wonders if Apple is going through similar stages of youthful vigor, ruthless monopolistic walled garden expansion, middle age remorse and obvious loss of focus, and perhaps future madness flailing in vain to remain relevant. The Cloud after all is rife with Big Brother power differential over users; Cook already thinks he is a benign god who can do no wrong. The stage is set to see if Apple will continue to hike walls and prices or give power back to users, not to mention sharing its cash horde with all the employees that earned it, including the near-slaves in manufacturing facilities who to this day have no democratic voice in their lives. Emperor Cook, why don’t you care about them?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.