Bernie Sanders has a big problem with Apple’s $2.5 billion housing crisis fund

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Bernie Sanders has a big problem with Apple's $2.5b housing crisis fund
Sanders thinks Apple helped create the problem it claims to be fighting.
Photo: CafePress

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is less than impressed by Apple’s pledge of $2.5 billion to help support affordable housing in California.

Apple pledged the money Monday, saying it wants to be “part of the solution” when it comes to California’s sky-high housing prices. However, Sanders accuses Apple of “throwing pennies” at a crisis it “helped create.”

In a statement, Sanders said Apple is trying to “distract” from the fact that it helped create the California housing crisis. At the same time, the Vermont senator said that Apple is “raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, and keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore” to avoid paying its taxes.

In September, Sanders announced his $2.5 trillion “Housing for All” plan. This would provide housing for everyone in the United States based on a new wealth tax on America’s richest people. He said the plan addresses the “twin crises of affordability and homelessness.”

How Apple will spend its $2.5 billion fund

In my opinion, accusing Apple of creating the California housing crisis is overstating the company’s culpability. However, there’s no doubt that the booming tech industry helped drive up home prices in places like the San Francisco Bay Area. As the biggest tech company, Apple therefore takes a lot of flak for this problem.

$1 billion of Apple’s $2.5 billion fund will go toward an affordable housing investment fund. This will be used to speed up development of new, low-to-moderate-income housing.

A further $1 billion will go into a mortgage-assistance fund for first-time homebuyers. In addition, Apple will make $300 million of land it owns in San Jose available for affordable housing. Another $150 million will go toward a Bay Area housing fund. Finally, $50 million will go toward supporting vulnerable populations and reducing homelessness.

Last month, Facebook announced plans to invest $1 billion to address affordable housing in California.

Bernie Sanders is not the only Dem to slam Apple

By slamming Apple for its “hypocrisy,” Sanders became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to criticize Apple. In September, Elizabeth Warren said Apple has “too much power” and uses this to stifle competition. She posted this message on Twitter, alongside the hashtag #BreakUpBigTech.

Suddenly, it seems a long time ago that Apple CEO Tim Cook was considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton.

Source: The Hill