The Bay Area’s housing crisis is a controversial topic and while many solutions have been proposed, the problem is far from being tackled. San Francisco is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. That’s largely because many of the world’s most successful tech companies are located here and quite a few of their employees are handsomely paid. This has resulted in people with lower incomes and the disadvantaged to be priced out of the market. Google today announced a $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area as it wants to be a “good neighbor” in the area.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post today that over the next ten years, the company will repurpose at least $750 million of its land, most of which is currently zoned for commercial or office space, as residential housing.
It says that this will support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including for middle and low-income families. It’s also establishing a $250 million investment fund so that incentives can be provided to developers in order to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.
Google is also increasing its grants to nonprofits that are working against homelessness. IT has already given $18 million in grants over the last five years and will now be giving $50 million through Google.org to organizations which run resources like shelters and clinics.