Facebook on Tuesday announced that they will be contributing about $1 billion to help address the affordable housing crisis in California, and other communities. The social media giant has partnered with California Governor Gavin Newsom and the State of California to help accelerate progress on the issue.
There are plans to create up to 20,000 new housing units to help essential workers such as teachers, nurses and first responders live closer to their working places. In the same way, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have also announced initiatives to encourage affordable housing earlier this year.
David Wehner, Chief Financial Officer Facebook said,
Access to more affordable housing for all families is key to addressing economic inequality and restoring social mobility in California and beyond. State government cannot solve housing affordability alone, we need others to join Facebook in stepping up – progress requires partnership with the private sector and philanthropy to change the status quo and address the cost crisis our state is facing. Public-private partnerships around excess land is an important component in moving us forward.
Facebook will be spending $1 billion as follows:
- $250 million to a partnership with the State of California for mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land in communities where housing is scarce
- $150 million for production of affordable housing, including housing for the homeless, in the San Francisco Bay Area
- $225 million in land in Menlo Park will be used for affordable housing initiative
- $25 million to build teacher and essential worker housing on public land for school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
- $350 million in funds for additional commitments based on the rollout and effectiveness of the initiatives described above
This move by Facebook is appreciable, but we cannot guess just yet how the entire plan will pan out over time. The greater tech companies are trying to make some commitments toward affordable housing, which is definitely the need of the hour, we hope this will make the needed difference.