Google plans to invest $1 billion to build thousands of homes and fight homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area, where skyrocketing housing prices have pushed people out of the market, the tech giant’s CEO announced Tuesday.
In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will rezone about $750 million worth of land owned the Google and currently zoned for office or commercial use. The company then can support development of at least 15,000 homes “at all income levels,” Pichai wrote.
“We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle- and low-income residents,” the CEO wrote.
The company also will establish a $250 million fund that can provide incentives for developers toward building an additional 5,000 affordable homes in the Bay Area, Pichai said.
Google started in the SF Bay Area, and we know our responsibility to help starts at home: we’re making a $1B investment to enable the development of 20K new homes in the region at all income levels, including affordable housing options in the next 10 years https://t.co/vVEYOFIUm5
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 18, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, on its Twitter account, welomed Google’s announcement.
Today @Google announced they are investing $1 billion to build 20,000 Bay Area homes. We hope this inspires other companies to invest in housing affordability in CA. 🏡 https://t.co/54bDJHQBdQ #CaliforniaForAll pic.twitter.com/mtVH0xuEu6
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 18, 2019
Pichai said Google also will give $50 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on homelessness.
“In the coming months, we’ll continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically,” Pichai wrote. “Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years.”