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Apple spends $1 billion of $2.5 billion effort to fight California housing crisis

Alma Rodriguez, a San Jose resident who lost her job during the pandemic, received support from Destination: Home and Apple to pay rent.

Apple has spent $1 billion of its $2.5 billion pledge to improve housing access in California, with money going to assist first-time home buyers, fund new affordable homes and help the homeless.

The Cupertino tech giant said Wednesday it has helped thousands of first-time home buyers and aided tenants at risk of losing their homes during the pandemic across 25 counties.

“California’s communities have shown their resilience in the face of immense challenges this past year. As we look to a brighter future ahead, Apple is committed to continuing our work with partners across the state to support these communities and help combat the housing crisis in meaningful ways,” Kristina Raspe, Apple vice president of global real estate and facilities, said in a statement.

The majority of the $1 billion in funding has gone to fund down-payment and mortgage assistance for first-time buyers and to fund new affordable housing projects through the California Housing Finance Agency, the state entity that provides low-interest loans.

The company has also contributed funds to homeless nonprofit Destination: Home and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. Apple eventually plans to contribute a total of $200 million to the two groups.

Alma Rodriguez, who lost her job during the pandemic, received aid from Destination:
 Home and Apple to pay rent.

San Jose resident Alma Rodriguez lost her job as a house cleaner during the pandemic and received financial support from Destination: Home’s Homelessness Prevention System, which helped her pay rent and pay for other expenses like internet service for her three sons’ remote learning. She recently started a new job.

“Once the pandemic hit, it was very hard to provide for my family, and every dollar meant a lot to me. When I found out about receiving the support I couldn’t believe it — without that help we would have lost our internet and so much more,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home, said more corporate and philanthropic support is needed.

“While many in our community are seeing their lives return to normal, the most vulnerable among us are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads… with the level of need greater than ever, we need more corporate and philanthropic partners to step up and help us tackle this growing threat to our community,” she said in a statement.

Apple has also committed funding to 10 affordable housing projects in the Bay Area totaling more than 800 units, including the 30-unit Veterans Square in Pittsburg, which will include homes for homeless veterans.

In 2019, the company previously pledged to create $1 billion affordable housing fund in partnership with the state, provide $1 billion for home buyer assistance and use land valued at $300 million for affordable housing.

Google and Facebook each have committed $1 billion to local housing efforts.