Google to Invest $1B in San Francisco Bay Area Affordable Housing
Google will invest $1 billion to build at least 15,000 new homes in San Francisco Bay Area, CEO Sundar Pichai announced Tuesday, June 18.
According to Pichai, Google is currently the largest company in the area, with 45,000 Google employees residing in the Bay Area.
The company has decided to review its approach to property in San Francisco under pressure from the local communities that claim that Google’s expansion puts excessive strain on the housing market.
Pichai explained that Google will spend $750 million in the next 10 years to rezone its property, currently used for offices and other business needs, for residential use. According to CNBC, this means that Google could close its offices to enable housing development.
Another $50 million will be donated to nonprofits focused on homelessness and displacement, while $250 million more will be given to an investment fund for developers who are building affordable housing in San Francisco.
San Francisco is the 13th most populous city in the United States. As of 2016, its population was over 864,000.
The lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area has pushed out middle and low-income residents. Some critics link the ongoing crisis to the encroachment by tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, and their well-paid workers.
In January, Microsoft made a similar move to Google, investing $500 million to tackle the housing crisis in Seattle, where the company is based.