Tim Cook and Gavin Newsom looking at mapsSource: 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.

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