Apple is tagging a cool $400 million for use toward homeowner assistance programs and affordable housing projects throughout California this year — signifying a major move forward in the company's $2.5 billion commitment to fight the state's housing crisis, according to a press release on Apple's website.
Apple commits $400 million to California housing crisis
The $400 million additional funds — allocated toward Apple's $2.5 billion commitment to fight the housing crisis will help thousands of Californians — assisting first-time homebuyers, or new affordable housing units.
Projects to launch this year include the first affordable housing developments funded jointly with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, which will place 250 new affordable housing units across the Bay Area, including a down payment and mortgage assistance fund, and an affordable housing investment support program, both of which were created along with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).
Apple, Destination: Home to build affordable housing
Apple is also working to construct affordable housing units jointly with Destination: Home — an organization in support of Silicon Valley's most vulnerable demographics.
"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," said Apple's Vice President for Global Real Estate and Facilities Kristina Raspe. "As cities and states have been forced to pause many of their long-term affordable housing investments amidst the current public health crisis, Apple is proud to continue moving forward with our comprehensive plan to combat the housing crisis in California."
Apple and Housing Trust Silicon Valley's public-private partnership aims to move forward in support of affordable housing developments in the North, East, and South Bay regions. It's a geographically diverse project that hopes to offer more than 250 new units of affordable housing, many of which reserved for veterans, the homeless or previously homeless, in addition to residents ailed by developmental disabilities, according to the press release.
CalHFA partnership focuses on veterans, teachers, firefighters
To date, Apple's joint project with CalHFA has helped create down payment and mortgage assistance for hundreds of first-time homebuyers — with special benefits for veterans, firefighters, and teachers. The assistance program with CalHFA provides for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers in a manner corresponding to the state's diversity — on a historical basis, more than 65% of borrowers identify as Black, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander, according to the press release.
Simultaneously with CalHFA, Apple is launching a new affordable housing investment support program that increases the availability of funding to develop and build new, very low- to moderate-income housing at an atypically lower cost — the first-of-its-kind in California, says Apple.
CalHFA, Apple partnership seeks crucial status in California
The new program from Apple and CalHFA is expected to grow into a crucial tool for California as it seeks to create more affordable housing units in the next five years.
"Apple's contribution could not have come at a more crucial time, as the COVID-19 pandemic has only made our work to end homelessness that much more urgent," said Destination: Home CEO Jennifer Loving. "We were able to immediately invest their funding into several new housing developments that will provide a permanent home to vulnerable residents across the region and reinforce our Homelessness Prevention System at a time when we're seeing an unprecedented number of at-risk families in need."
As Apple's latest $400-million contribution is tossed onto the staggering $2.5-billion public-private commitment to assuage the California housing crisis, we can hope that corporate ventures into domestic philanthropy will create meaningful change in the lives of so many who, through the decades and pages of history, have been forgotten and abandoned on the unforgiving streets of California.