In 2019, Apple Inc pledged to direct $2.5 billion toward affordable housing in California. Now, $1.5 billion has been spent and the project has created thousands of housing units across the city and county. The funding has been targeted, strategic, and effective, thanks to a plan to plug critical gaps in existing housing projects.
Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president of worldwide real estate and facilities said “We really look for projects and programs where not only do we have a deep impact, but we actually see the impact fairly quickly. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on funding projects that need that last tranche of funding in order to be built, as opposed to projects that are still in the conceptual phase.”
They partnered with affordable housing non-profits like Housing Trust Silicon Valley, which provided Apple with lists of apartment and housing units that already went through planning and approval, but which hit last-minute snags. Apple then invested to get the buildings completed. Apple’s housing fund was able to get a 94-unit apartment building called the Villas at 4th Street in San Jose’s Japantown completed and open for chronically-unhoused senior citizens. Housing Trust Silicon Valley has also managed to secure the completion of another 82-unit building in San Jose on 333 Page Street, and a 30-unit building in the nearby city of Pittsburgh.
In the Bay Area, Destination Home, another of Apple’s partners, have been able to secure funds to build thousands of “extremely-affordable” homes in the county, as well as provide limited financial support to 24,000 people at the highest risk of losing their homes. In the Bay Area, Destination: Home, another of Apple’s partners, have been able to secure some of the fund’s money to build thousands of “extremely-affordable” homes in the county, as well as provide limited financial support to 24,000 people at the highest risk of losing their homes.
CEO Tim Cook created the corporate fund to advance affordable housing projects in the city of San Jose four years ago, citing a profound civic duty to the city. Since 2012, the California median home price has soared nearly 75% to $550,800, while the average rent for a vacant apartment is $2,293.