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Facebook Commits $1B To Boost Affordable Housing In Space-Crunched Bay Area

Facebook will invest $1B over the next decade in efforts to help alleviate California's housing crisis, Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner wrote in a blog post Tuesday.   

Facebook's Menlo Park HQ

The social network company's investment will amount to up to 20,000 new housing units through a combination of public-private partnerships, loans and development on Facebook-owned land in its hometown of Menlo Park.

Facebook's announcement comes on the heels of Google's $1B pledge to fund housing development. Both are in response to the state's worsening housing crisis. California's poverty rate of 18.2% is one of the highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and consulting firm McKinsey estimates the state's housing shortage costs California $140B per year in lost economic output. 

For its part, Facebook said it will use $225M of land it owns to build 1,500 units of mixed-income housing, though it is unclear which builders it will partner with. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In addition, the company is committing $250M to a partnership with the state of California for more mixed-income housing, in this case on state-owned land in undisclosed communities. Facebook will also invest $150M in the affordable housing investment fund of Partnership for the Bay's Future, a housing group offering various affordable housing loans, and $25M to build teacher and workforce housing in partnership with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The remaining $350M will then be allocated to efforts deemed successful, according to the company. 

“State government cannot solve housing affordability alone, we need others to join Facebook in stepping up. Progress requires partnership with the private sector and philanthropy to change the status quo and address the cost crisis our state is facing," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. 

Related Topics: Facebook, Menlo Park, Gavin Newsom