Google proclaimed $1 billion, after being criticized for driving out homeless families, to mitigate the homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as to add nearly 20,000 homes to the area over the coming decade. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, announced Google decides to transform at the minimum $750 million of its land, recently planned for commercial or office space, to assist 15,000 homes.
Google plans also to arrange a $250 million investment fund to encourage builders to build an extra 5,000 affordable homes. As Pichai stated, “We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low-income residents.”
Google has joined hands with other tech companies in its effort to increase affordable homes around Silicon Valley. The tech companies have also promised to help mitigate the chronic affordable housing crisis in the area, where the increase in housing prices has been considering due to the growth of the tech zone. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, and other local companies in January announced that they will spend $500 million to ease the Bay Area housing shortage crisis.
Silicon Valley tech companies have long been criticized for inflating housing prices, thus for intensifying housing crisis that is driving low and middle-income earners out of the region. According to Zillow, average home prices in the Bay Area have increased by 45%, from $936,000 to about $1.4 million. Moreover, nearly 7,000 persons in the Bay Area are out of homes.
Sam Liccardo, San Jose Mayor, stated: “For several months, we have encouraged Google to make a bold commitment to address our region’s affordable housing challenge,” he added, “we look forward to working with Google to ensure… announcement manifests into the housing that will benefit thousands of San Jose residents struggling under the burden of high rents.”
Google will initiate construction work soon to implement its plan to make available affordable homes in the next coming years, Pichai declared.