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Apple will give $2.5 billion for housing

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Tech companies have promised over $4.5 billion total

Apple Park in Cupertino. Photo by Shutterstock

In the latest round of tech titans doling out dough for housing, Apple announced on Monday that it will spend $2.5 billion “to help address the housing availability and affordability crisis in California.”

In a statement, CEO Tim Cook said “Apple is committed to being part of the solution” and played up the company’s Bay Area history stretching back “before the world knew the name Silicon Valley.”

Although Cook specifically cites affordable housing in his comments, only $1.15 billion of the plan goes toward planned company affordable housing funds, most of it in grants for the state, with a much smaller slice ($150 million) backing groups like Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

Apple will spend another $1 billion on mortgage assistance and a fund to help first-time buyers purchase homes; $300 million in land donations for development, which will make land it owns in San Jose available for new affordable housing; and $50 million on homeless relief.

The Apple announcement includes comments from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who praised the donation and said that the state’s housing problems “can only be fixed by building more housing.”

The state’s own 2019-2020 budget plan includes $650 million in grants for homeless programs and $1.25 billion in spending on new housing stimulus.

The move comes less than two weeks after Facebook—a key Apple rival—promised $1 billion for similar initiatives.

Google promised $1 billion of its own money in June. Both of those companies each set a target of 20,000 units, but the Apple initiative does not specify the number of homes that it hopes to yield. Actually executing the plan will take approximately two years.

At the end of October, Apple announced $64 billion in revenue for the previous quarter, and told investors that the company projects as much as $89.5 billion for the first quarter of 2020.