Apple pledges 2.5 bln USD to fight housing crisis in California

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-05 16:20:44|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Apple Inc. on Monday unveiled a plan to spend 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in helping California combat a worsening housing crisis that many in the state attributed to highly profitable high-tech firms including those in Silicon Valley.

Apple pledged to commit 1 billion dollars to create a mortgage assistance fund for first-time home buyers and another 1 billion dollars to set up an affordable housing investment fund to build "very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost."

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant said it will provide a piece of land it owned in San Jose, valued at 300 million dollars, to build new affordable housing.

Apple is also launching a new 150-million-dollar affordable housing fund to develop a public-private partnership including Housing Trust Silicon Valley to support new affordable housing projects in the Bay Area.

In addition, Apple said it will donate 50 million dollars to help some of the most vulnerable populations in the Bay Area to solve the problem of homelessness.

Apple's initiative is the largest commitment ever pledged by a tech giant for housing projects in California in recent months, after Facebook announced a 1-billion-dollar plan in October and Google pledged the same amount in June for similar purposes.

"We feel a profound civic responsibility to ensure it (Silicon Valley) remains a vibrant place where people can live, have a family and contribute to the community," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple said it will take about two years to fully utilize its commitment to California in partnership with California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state or community-based organizations.

"Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride," he added.

Newsom said in a tweet Monday that the cost of housing in California is the defining concern for millions of families across the state.

"It can only be fixed by building more housing," he said.

California is grappling with a daunting housing crisis resulting from the lack of affordable homes for millions of people who benefited little from booming high-tech industry in the state.