September 29, 2023

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Specialists in technology

Apple begins allocating $400m out of $2.5b pledge to fight California’s housing crisis


Apple says it wants to help make California more affordable to live in.

Angela Lang/CNET

Silicon Valley is home to some of the richest and most powerful companies on Earth, including Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber and Twitter. That wealth and influence has also helped make the San Francisco Bay Area one of the most expensive places to live in the world. 

Apple, the most highly valued US tech company, is hoping to change all that by helping to fund housing programs designed to build and help finance affordable homes. On Monday, the company said it’s begun spending $400 million out of the $2.5 billion it committed last year.

“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,” Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities, said in a statement.

Apple said it’s working with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), the Housing Trust Silicon Valley and Destination: Home. As a result, Apple said its funding will help build more than 250 units of affordable housing, in addition to down payment assistance for needy families.


Apple’s was founded in, and is currently headquartered in, Cupertino, California.


The iPhone maker’s efforts mark the latest in a string of funding announcements from tech giants around San Francisco who have said they’re committed to make housing more affordable. Facebook last October committed $1 billion, which in part will help create housing on excess state-owned land as well as build mixed-income units on Facebook-owned land near its headquarters in Menlo Park. Google as well last June committed $1 billion to help build at least 20,000 homes in the next decade.

Critics however say the help is both long due and not enough, noting the company’s collective profits are many times these investments. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also ran to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, criticized the efforts last year, noting that the companies are partly responsible for creating conditions that raised housing prices in the first place.

“We cannot rely on corporate tax evaders to solve California’s housing crisis,” he said then. The senator’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Apple’s efforts.

The Cupertino, California-based has been criticized over the years for its approach to paying taxes. The US Senate investigated Apple in 2013 over its $103 billion held in offshore accounts, following a Pulitzer-winning investigation by the New York Times over the company’s business practices. This past September, the company began a legal battle with the European Union over a $14 billion tax bill from 2016 it says “defies reality and common sense.” The company has also defended itself in the past, saying it’s one of the largest taxpayers in the US, and pays all the taxes it owes.

Apple says it’s committed to helping solve the housing crisis, and promised as part of its investments that it will make $300 million worth of land it owns available for affordable housing.

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