Apple commits $2.5 billion to help with the California housing crisis

Tim Cook and Gavin Newsom looking at maps
Tim Cook and Gavin Newsom looking at maps (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has comitted to a $2.5 billion plan.
  • California is in the midst of a housing crisis.
  • Home availibility and affordibility has become a huge problem.

Apple has today announced a new $2.5 billion plan to help with the housing California housing crisis. The company says that almost 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of 2019, with homeownership now at a seven-year low. Factor in the increasing cost of renting and the situation becomes increasingly dire.

"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."

The $2.5 billion consists of:

  • $1 billion – affordable housing investment fund.
  • $1 billion – first-time homebuyer motgage assistance fund
  • $300 million - Apple-owned and available land for affordable housing
  • $150 million – Bay Area housing fund
  • $50 million to support vulnerable populations.

Apple's overall aim is to "accelerate and expand new housing production" while also helping people get on the property ladder once those homes are built.

Gavin Newsom, governor of California, called the investment "unparalleled."

"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."

It's unfortunate that it needs a tech company to put these sums of money into California's coffers just to help shelter people. But here we are.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.