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Following Google and Facebook, Apple Commits $2.5B To Housing

Apple CEO Tim Cook and California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Apple has one-upped the billion-dollar housing pledges made by fellow Silicon Valley tech giants Google and Facebook earlier this year. 

Cupertino's trillion-dollar tech company has dedicated $2.5B to addressing California's housing crisis, the company announced on Monday. Apple is actively looking for developers for the project.

The commitment comes through several channels, but most will go toward affordable housing construction and financing for first-time homebuyers. 

“Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "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.”

Apple's commitment is the third of its kind since June, and the second in the last two weeks, as Silicon Valley's private sector reckons with a housing crisis its rapid growth largely caused.

In June, Google announced it would devote $1B in efforts that would result in at least 15,000 new homes across the Bay Area. In late October, Facebook unveiled its plan to commit $1B for the same purpose over the next decade.

In Apple's pledge, $1B will go to an affordable housing investment fund providing the state of California and developers credit to build very-low to moderate-income housing "faster and at a lower cost." Another $1B will go to a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund the iPhone-maker will manage with the state.

First Community Housing's 100% affordable North San Pedro project, underway since April

The company cites nonprofit developer First Community Housing's 100% affordable, 135-unit North San Pedro Studios, which broke ground in April, as the type of project its investment will fund. Most of those downtown units at 201 Basset St. will go to the chronically homeless or other low-income residents. The rest will go to homeless veterans.

In addition, Apple will make approximately $300M of its San Jose land available for the development of new affordable housing. It also announced a $150M fund to support new affordable housing projects in the Bay Area through loans and grants, as well as a $50M donation to Destination: Home, a public-private partnership addressing homelessness in Silicon Valley.

The company expects a two-year rollout of its pledge and will reinvest capital from the various investments into future projects over the next five years. 

“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," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. "I hope other companies follow their lead."