Apple has begun spending some of the $2.5 billion earmarked to help fight California’s housing crisis. CEO Tim Cook this week announced $400 million for affordable housing projects and homeowner assistance programs. The money will support thousands of first-time buyers and low-income residents state-wide.
In partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Cupertino is building more than 250 new affordable housing units across the Bay Area—many of which are reserved for veterans, the homeless or formerly homeless, and folks with developmental disabilities.
An alliance with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), meanwhile, provides mortgage and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers (with additional benefits for teachers, vets, and firefighters). Together, the organizations this month also launched a first-of-its-kind-in-California support program aimed at increasing availability of funding for new, very low- to moderate-income housing at a lower cost.
“At a time when so many members of our community are facing unprecedented challenges, we believe it’s critical to make sure that their hopes for the future are supported through tangible programs and results,” Kristina Raspe, Apple’s VP for Global Real Estate and Facilities, said in a statement. “As cities and states have been forced to pause many of their long-term affordable housing investments amidst the current public health crisis, Apple is proud to continue moving forward with our comprehensive plan to combat the housing crisis in California.”
Part of that plan is a collaboration with Destination: Home, which seeks to end homelessness in Silicon Valley, and helped fund the construction of 1,000-plus units—including a number designed specifically for vulnerable seniors. With Apple’s financial backing, Destination: Home has also managed to keep 1,500 families annually from losing their homes (a 67 percent increase from a year ago).
“Apple’s contribution could not have come at a more crucial time, as the COVID-19 pandemic has only made our work to end homelessness that much more urgent,” according to Destination: Home CEO Jennifer Loving. “We were able to immediately invest their funding into several new housing developments that will provide a permanent home to vulnerable residents across the region and reinforce our Homelessness Prevention System at a time when we’re seeing an unprecedented number of at-risk families in need.”
Apple, founded in a Los Altos garage, last year broke down exactly how its $2.5 billion will help combat California’s housing crisis: $1 billion for an affordable housing investment fund; $1 billion for a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund; $300 million for land Apple owns and will make available for affordable housing; $150 million for a Bay Area housing fund; and $50 million to support vulnerable populations through Destination: Home.