Facebook commits $1B to help tackle California's affordable housing crisis

Facebook and California are teaming up to bring affordable housing to the state.

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The tech giant announced on Tuesday that it will commit $1 billion to address the affordable housing crisis in California and in other communities where it operates.

“Access to more affordable housing for all families is key to addressing economic inequality and restoring social mobility in California and beyond,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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“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.”

The $1 billion commitment will be broken down into five parts:

  • $250 million for mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land where housing is scarce
  • $150 million to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • $225 million in land that Facebook recently purchased in Menlo Park
  • $25 million to build housing for teachers and essential workers in San Mateo and Santa Clara
  • $350 million toward future commitments

Home prices in California have been on fire over much of the past decade. The average home price in California has climbed from $300,000 in January 2012 to $550,800 last month, according to Zillow. Prices are expected to edge up another 1.7 percent over the next year. Price increases have been most severe in San Francisco, where the median home value has swelled to more than $1.35 million.

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California's homeless population was estimated at 129,972 in January 2018, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Almost half (47 percent) of all unsheltered homeless people in the U.S. are living in the state of California, the White House Council of Economic Advisors said in September.