Google promises $1B investment toward housing in San Francisco Bay Area

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Tuesday that the company would be investing $1 billion to help boost housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Pichai shared details of the plan in a post on the company’s blog, noting that Google is among the “largest employers” in the region – which is experiencing an “urgent and complex” housing problem, he said.

“The lack of new supply, combined with the rising cost of living, has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents,” he wrote.

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Pichai broke down how the substantial sum would be spent, saying the plan could generate 20,000 residences. The company will “repurpose at least $750 million” of their property in the next decade as residential housing, he said. The majority of the land is meant to be used as office or commercial space.

“This will enable us to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families,” he wrote.

The company will also designate $250 million to a fund so they “can provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market,” Pichai said.

The process to rezone territories is already underway, according to Pichai who said the company has already worked with city officials in Mountain View and are in the midst of talking to leaders in Sunnyvale and San Jose.

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As for a timeline, Google is aiming to begin building “immediately” and wants “homes to be available in the next few years,” the executive said.

Nonprofit organizations working to tackle homelessness and displacement will also receive $50 million in grant funding via Google.org, according to the blog post.