- Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to build 20,000 homes across the San Francisco Bay Area.
- The company plans to repurpose at least $750 million worth of its land from commercial or industrial use to build 15,000 residential units. Google will also establish a $250 million investment fund to incentivize developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units in the region.
- Google will also give $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on mitigating housing displacement and homelessness.
Google's investment comes on the heels of a report claiming the company's new mega campus in San Jose would cause renters to pay an extra $235 million per year collectively.
The report said the city, which already is in a housing crunch, would need to create 17,700 new housing units just to respond to the campus. Rent in the region has risen three times faster than wages from 2010 to 2017, which has resulted in 42% of Santa Clara County residents becoming rent burdened.
The report's authors urged Google and city to work together on pursuing a framework for inclusive tech development that doesn't affect existing citizens' ability to live and thrive.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo tweeted a message of praise for the donation, declaring the city's willingness to work with Google on creating the housing.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also applauded the move. While acknowledging the state's housing supply shortage, he expressed hope that Google's donation would inspire other companies to invest in housing.
CA is facing a serious housing supply shortage. We need to use every tool in the toolkit to address this crisis.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 19, 2019
Grateful for the leadership of @Google -- investing $1 billion to build 20,000 Bay Area homes -- and hope this inspires other companies to invest in housing in CA. https://t.co/qWzx5TYZ2k
Google and other tech businesses have come under fire for their contribution to the housing crisis, especially in Silicon Valley. Local leaders and housing advocacy groups have increased their calls for companies to help fix the crisis they indirectly created.
Pichai noted Google has given $18 million in grants to address homelessness over the last five years. He expressed a desire to work with Bay Area municipalities to get the new housing construction started immediately so homes could become available to citizens in the next few years. Pichai closed the blog post with a call for collaborative partnerships involving a variety of stakeholders.