Apple's affordable housing plan offers 'no hope,' professor says

After Apple announced a comprehensive $2.5 billion plan to help address the housing availability and affordability problem in California, experts asked if big-tech companies can actually save the state's issue.

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Apple intends to make available land it owns in San Jose worth approximately $300 million for the development of new affordable housing.

APPLE COMMITS $2.5B TO COMBAT HOUSING CRISIS IN CALIFORNIA

Carnegie Mellon University adjunct professor Vivek Wadhwa joined FOX Business' "Making Money with Charles Payne" on Monday to discuss whether Apple's plan will make a dent.

"You have to realize that affordable housing in San Jose, and Mountain View, and so on, means $1.5 million," Wadhwa told Charles Payne.

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Apple’s commitment to the state of California includes:

  • $1 billion affordable housing investment fund
  • $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund
  • $300 million Apple-owned land will be available for affordable housing

Costs have skyrocketed for renters and potential homebuyers. When those costs are combined with the availability of affordable housing, it fails to keep pace with the region’s growth.

The bottom 20 percent of San Francisco residents make about $16,000 a year while the top 1 percent earns an average of $800,000 annually. With that statistic in mind, Wadhwa said there is "no hope for them, no matter what happens over here."

"The tech industry is out of touch with the realities of the world."

- Vivek Wadhwa, Carnegie Mellon University adjunct professor

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of homelessness includes people who are living on the streets, in cars or in shelters. By that definition, San Francisco's homeless population has increased 30 percent in 2019.

"When I read the headlines about the Apple announcement, I was hoping that it really was for the homeless — building homeless shelters and getting them off the streets," Wadhwa said.

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Wadhwa said the first step should be getting California's reported 130,000 homeless people off the streets and into shelters.

Private enterprise has to help government here because government isn't doing its job," Wadhwa said. "I wish that Apple had put the $2.5 billion into the homelessness [problem], that would have been a good start. What they're doing instead is subsidizing housing for their own employees."

Nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year, according to real estate news and analysis website Redfin. And homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the Mercury News.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.

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