In an effort to alleviate the acute housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area, internet-giant Google said it would allocate $1 billion toward building 20,000 new homes in the Bay Area over the next decade, mostly in the southern part of the region near Google headquarters, said company CEO Sundar Pichai.
“We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents,” Pichai said in a blog post announcing the move. “The lack of new supply, combined with the rising cost of living, has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents.”
According to CNBC, three quarters of the $1 billion commitment will come by repurposing Google-owned land zoned for office space into residential housing areas, which could support the development of 15,000 homes “at all income levels” over the next decade. The remaining $250 million will create an investment fund to offer developers incentives to build 5,000 affordable homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Google’s pledge follows a move in January by Facebook, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and others to raise $280 million in funds to help preserve or develop 8,000 units of affordable housing within 10 years.
More than 45,000 Google employees live in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to Pichai.