Google on Tuesday pledged to commit more than $1 billion to help address the severe housing crisis in the region that includes its headquarters and Silicon Valley.
Chief executive Sundar Pichai announced the initiative, saying the internet colossus wants to be “a good neighbor” in the area bursting with technology companies.
The move comes with Silicon Valley firms under pressure over the spike in real estate prices, lack of affordable housing and growing homeless problem in the San Francisco Bay region.
The region has attracted thousands of highly paid tech workers that has strained the housing supply and led to an explosion in prices.
Pichai said Google had previously invested in housing in areas where it has operations.
“Today we’re announcing an additional $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area,” Pichai said in a blog post.
The largest chunk of this would be to “repurpose” over the next 10 years for housing some $750 million of Google’s land, most of which is currently zoned for office or commercial space.
“This will enable us to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families,” he said.
“We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents.”
Google, the largest unit of the Alphabet holding company, also pledged a $250 million investment fund providing incentives to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.
An additional $50 million will be funneled through the company’s philanthropic arm Google.org to nonprofits focused on homelessness and displacement, adding to some $18 million in grants given over the past five years.
“In the coming months, we’ll continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically,” Pichai said.
“Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years.”
Earlier this year, companies and organizations, including one started by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pledged some $500 million for affordable housing in the same region in response to a plea from Governor Gavin Newsom.
Microsoft, based in the northwestern city of Seattle, has pledged $500 million for a similar initiative.
The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed
It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."
Turkish president threatens US over Trump’s insulting letter: ‘When the time comes necessary steps will be taken’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on Friday warned the United States that it would pay a price for the letter send by President Donald Trump that warned him that history "will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen" in northern Syria.
The letter, which also advised Erdo?an to not "be a tough guy" or "a fool," was widely ridiculed in the media for sounding childish. Erdo?an, however, said on Friday that he took the president's letter as a serious insult to his stature as a world leader.
As reported by the BBC's Jon Sopel, Erdo?an called out the president's letter for being out of line with standard diplomatic protocol, and he suggested his country would not forget how the president showed them such little respect.
‘We’re ready to vote’: Oversight Committee Dem claims Congress has the goods for impeachment
Appearing on CNN's "New Day," Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (CA), who sits on the House Oversight Committee, said he and other Democrats have enough in hand to vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Speaking with host John Berman, Khanna was pressed on what he had learned behind closed doors from former and current officials working in Trump's administration, saying he couldn't divulge any more than has previously been released but that there was enough there to raise serious issues about Trump's continuing as president.
Pressed by host Berman whether lawmakers have enough to proceed with impeachment, the California Democrat didn't skip a beat and said yes.