Apple is accelerating its support for affordable housing initiatives and over the past 18 months has deployed more than $1 billion for projects across California. Apple’s financial commitment has already helped thousands of people in the state become homeowners for the first time. In addition, Apple is providing capital to facilitate the construction of thousands of new affordable units and supporting at-risk communities. This major milestone in the company’s $2.5 billion commitment to combat the housing crisis in the state demonstrates the importance of innovative housing solutions.
“California’s communities have shown their resilience in the face of immense challenges this past year. As we look to a brighter future ahead, Apple is committed to continuing our work with partners across the state to support these communities and help combat the housing crisis in meaningful ways,” said Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities, in a statement. “As we expand our efforts and move forward with our comprehensive plan to address housing in the state, we’re proud our work has made a tangible impact on the lives of so many Californians.”
Apple’s affordable housing commitments are designed to address housing scarcity and affordability across several distinct approaches, targeting various populations and filling existing gaps in the space. In partnership with Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the $1 billion in funding has helped support new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness.
After announcing its commitment in November 2019, Apple quickly started working with partners to allocate and disburse funds across the state — deploying more than $500 million by the end of 2020 in an effort to combat the heightened housing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, Apple has supported affordable housing efforts across 25 California counties, from Alameda and Amador to Ventura and Yolo. The funds have assisted thousands of first-time homebuyers, supported the development of thousands of new affordable units, and helped keep thousands of Bay Area families housed during the pandemic.
In conjunction with CalHFA, Apple has provided mortgage and down payment assistance to thousands of low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Close to two-thirds of borrowers identify as Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian. The program has also provided additional benefits for teachers, veterans, and firefighters — which comprise nearly 10 percent of borrowers.
Apple has also partnered with CalHFA to launch an affordable housing investment program, the first of its kind in California, which has increased the availability of funding to develop and build very low- to moderate-income housing at a lower cost. This innovative funding mechanism means the state now has access to financial resources that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Launched in July 2020, the program has become a critical tool to produce additional affordable housing units in the state.
Construction is underway for several new affordable housing developments in the South Bay and East Bay regions of Northern California, funded through a public-private partnership between Apple and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. To date, the partnership has committed funding to 10 projects, spanning the entire greater Bay Area. These projects are expected to create more than 800 new units of affordable housing, many of them reserved for vulnerable communities — including homeless senior citizens, veterans, and people with developmental disabilities.
In November 2019, Apple committed $2.5 billion to combat the housing crisis in California across a series of initiatives over several years, including:
• A first-of-its-kind $1 billion affordable housing investment fund with the state of California.
• A $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, with increased funding opportunities for essential services personnel, school employees, and veterans.
• $300 million in Apple-owned land made available for affordable housing.
• A $150 million Bay Area housing fund, in public-private partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley.
• $50 million to support Destination: Home’s efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley.
MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple would do this even though many other companies could, they don’t. This is yet another reason why Americans should support Apple, not some South Korean dishwasher maker knockoff peddler, for one of myriad examples.
Apple leads. Hopefully, many more companies will follow Apple’s lead, as usual.