Google investing $1B to fight Bay Area housing crisis

Google investing $1B to fight Bay Area housing crisis

Google on Tuesday announced a $1 billion investment for housing in the Bay Area, including funding for 15,000 new homes.

"Across the region, one issue stands out as particularly urgent and complex: housing,” CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post.

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“As Google grows throughout the Bay Area—whether it’s in our home town of Mountain View, in San Francisco, or in our future developments in San Jose and Sunnyvale—we’ve invested in developing housing that meets the needs of these communities. But there’s more to do,” he added.

The $1 billion total will be split into a few housing initiatives. 

Google will, over the next 10 years, rezone $750 million worth of its property, most of which is currently zoned for commercial and office space. That would create new space for 15,000 homes, according to Pichai.

The tech giant will put $250 million in an investment fund for developers to build affordable housing and $50 million toward nonprofits focused on homelessness and displacement.

The announcement comes as Bay Area tech companies face increasing pressure from local communities claiming their expansion is displacing longtime residents.

Housing prices have skyrocketed following tech's growth in the area, especially in Silicon Valley.

San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) praised Google's investment.

“For several months, we have encouraged Google to make a bold commitment to address our region’s affordable housing challenge," he tweeted. "We look forward to working with Google to ensure today’s announcement manifests into housing that will benefit thousands of San José residents struggling under the burden of high rents.”