Apple has allocated more than $400 million on affordable housing programs and projects for the poor and homeless in California. The programs aim to support veterans, the homeless, or formerly homeless, and residents with developmental disabilities, and aid the people’s fight against the worsening housing crisis in the state.
This brings Apple a step closer to its aim of investing $2.5 billion to combat the Californian housing crisis, a multiyear goal that it had announced earlier this year.
The $400 million dollars will be used to construct more than 250 new affordable housing units in California as Apple will forge partnerships with the public non-profit Housing Trust Silicon Valley.
In addition to this, Apple will create a mortgage and down payment assistance fund with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) which will create an affordable housing program to support low- to moderate-income housing. The fund is diverse in nature, as minorities like Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander or American Indian account for 65% of the total borrowers. The Apple funding also helped expand a program that the group said helped keep 1,500 families from losing their homes. The fund has helped 100s of first buyers, and has rolled out additional benefits reserved for teachers, veterans and firefighters.
Apple’s contributions come at a very crucial time, as the pandemic has exacerbated the already depressing housing crisis in America.
Other giant tech companies like Google and Microsoft, too have invested in California housing programs, mainly to absolve themselves of any blames that have been, or will be raised at them for displacing the poor working population to construct factories. Although other factors such as scarcity of available land, zoning regulations, and restrictions against building vertically also have played a major part in their displacement, the tech companies are equally responsible for making the people of silicon valley homeless. In addition to this, once good and cheap housing facilities come up, these tech companies will also get access to cheaper labor for their factories, which is the need of the hour as companies continue to cut costs.
“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,” said Kristina Raspe, Apple’s Vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities. “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.”