Culture | June 18, 2019 5:09 pm

Google Is Donating $1 Billion Towards Stabilizing the Bay Area Housing Market

While the tech giants have feasted on wild success, many on the outside have been pushed, literally, outside

Google housing
Google is donating $1 billion towards Bay Area housing. (Getty)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google has committed $1 billion to affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the cost of owning a home has skyrocketed out of reach for many. Everyone’s favorite search engine said that the money will add 20,000 new homes to the market over the next 10 years, NPR reported.

“We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle- and low-income residents,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, said in a statement on Tuesday.

While the giants of the tech industry — including Google — have feasted on wild success, many on the outside have been pushed, literally, outside. NPR noted that the cost of living in the Bay Area has spiked so high that some have had to move about 90 miles away in order to find affordable housing. Even those who make at least $100,000 can only realistically live in about 28 percent of the area’s neighborhoods, a report on housing found last month. Add to that a separate study that found the Bay Area had the third-largest homeless population in the nation and you’ve got quite the housing epidemic.

Google’s $1 billion commitment will unfold in two parts: First, it will “repurpose at least $750 million of Google’s land, most of which is currently zoned for office or commercial space, as residential housing,” according to Pichai, resulting in land and dollars for 15,000 new, fairly priced homes; second, the remaining $250 million will create an investment fund that will incentivize developers to build 5,000 additional homes for lower-income people.

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