Breaking News: Google to Spend $1 Billion on Housing in the Bay Area
"Google on Tuesday announced a stunning $1 billion commitment to ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, pledging to add about 20,000 homes across the region," reports George Avalos. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new initiative in a blog post.
"It is the largest single commitment from a tech company to fight the housing shortage that threatens to stall the economic engine of Silicon Valley," according to Avalos.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo released a statement to express support for the initiative, saying the city would work with Google "to ensure today’s announcement manifests itself into housing that will benefit thousands of San Jose residents struggling under the burden of high rents."
Avalos reports that Google plans to spend $750 million of that total on housing on land it owns. The other $250 million will be set aside for an "investment fund that will enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the region."
The announcement follows a recent report by Working Partnerships USA, "a labor-backed organization focused on addressing inequality and poverty in Silicon Valley," that expresses concerns that Google's expansions in San Jose would trigger gentrification and displacement.
Google's announcement might have the largest dollar figure attached to its housing commitment, but it's not the first to promise a large financial commitment to mitigating the regional housing crisis. In January, a group of tech industry companies and philanthropic foundations announced the "Partnership for the Bay's Future," and a promise to spend $500 million to mitigate the housing affordability crisis in the region.