Apple is pledging $2.5 billion to confront California’s housing crisis, in a bid to help the state ease a situation that’s been blamed for marginalizing people in service and support jobs and creating a spike in homelessness.
“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,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement from Apple. “This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that.”
The announcement comes as California grapples with how to keep pace with growing demand — by one estimate, as NPR recently noted, the state must build more than 3 million homes by 2025.
Apple’s plan includes $1 billion to create a mortgage assistance fund for first-time homebuyers, and another $1 billion that will be an open line of credit to support building “very low- to moderate-income housing,” the company said.
The result is that in a state famous for nurturing innovative ideas in garages, a number of people have been living in their vehicles because of the high cost of rent — including some lower-paid tech workers. Communities from Los Angeles to the Bay Area have been criticized for banning or restricting people’s ability to live in automobiles and RVs.