Apple pumps $1 billion into affordable housing for California

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Apple's affordable housing initiative invests $1 billion
Taylor Mestres and Keteria Lara bagged a new home with Apple's help.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Wednesday confirmed it has deployed more than $1 billion for affordable housing initiatives across California. The company calls this a major milestone in its $2.5 billion commitment to combat the housing crisis.

And now, after its initiative has helped thousands of people across the state become homeowners for the first time, Apple says it is accelerating its support for affordable housing..

“California’s communities have shown their resilience in the face of immense challenges this past year,” said Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for global real estate and facilities, in a press release. “As we look to a brighter future ahead, Apple is committed to continuing our work with partners across the state to support these communities and help combat the housing crisis in meaningful ways.”

The latest announcement comes after Apple announced the housing initiative in November 2019 — then quickly deployed more than $500 million by the end of 2020 to combat the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Apple accelerates California housing initiative

The aim of the initiative is to combat housing scarcity and affordability in Apple’s home state. Apple partnered with a number of organizations for the effort — including Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency, and Housing Trust Silicon Valley — to make this happen.

The $1 billion spent so far has helped develop and build new homes for first-time buyers, and expanded programs aimed at reducing homelessness — a problem that has become even more severe during the ongoing pandemic.

Alma Rodriguez, of San Jose, and her three sons have benefited from the initiative. When she lost her job due to COVID-19, a program Apple funds helped Rodriguez pay her rent — and some other essentials — so she didn’t lose her home.

“Once the pandemic hit, it was very hard to provide for my family, and every dollar meant a lot to me,” Rodriguez told Apple. “When I found out about receiving the support I couldn’t believe it — without that help we would have lost our internet and so much more.”

“I am so grateful that someone is fighting for us, especially in these times.”

‘We’re proud of our work’

The Homelessness Prevention System has now provided financial assistance to more than 15,000 families like Rodriguez’ with Apple’s help. It also helped construct more than 1,100 affordable housing units.

And in conjunction with CalHFA, Apple helped others pay mortgages and make down payments on first-time buys. The company also helped launch a new affordable housing investment program, the first of its kind in California, to increase availability of funding for affordable homes.

“As we expand our efforts and move forward with our comprehensive plan to address housing in the state, we’re proud our work has made a tangible impact on the lives of so many Californians,” said Raspe.