The FINANCIAL — Apple is accelerating its support for affordable housing initiatives and over the past 18 months has deployed more than $1 billion for projects across California. Apple’s financial commitment has already helped thousands of people in the state become homeowners for the first time.
In addition, Apple is providing capital to facilitate the construction of thousands of new affordable units and supporting at-risk communities. This major milestone in the company’s $2.5 billion commitment to combat the housing crisis in the state demonstrates the importance of innovative housing solutions.
“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,” said Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities. “As we expand our efforts and move forward with our comprehensive plan to address housing in the state, we’re proud our work has made a tangible impact on the lives of so many Californians.”
Apple’s affordable housing commitments are designed to address housing scarcity and affordability across several distinct approaches, targeting various populations and filling existing gaps in the space. In partnership with Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the $1 billion in funding has helped support new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness, Apple notes.
After announcing its commitment in November 2019, Apple quickly started working with partners to allocate and disburse funds across the state — deploying more than $500 million by the end of 2020 in an effort to combat the heightened housing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, Apple has supported affordable housing efforts across 25 California counties, from Alameda and Amador to Ventura and Yolo. The funds have assisted thousands of first-time homebuyers, supported the development of thousands of new affordable units, and helped keep thousands of Bay Area families housed during the pandemic — including Alma Rodriguez’s family.
Alma Rodriguez lives in San Jose with her three sons. When Rodriguez lost her job due to the pandemic, she was faced with what seemed like an impossible task: continue caring for her sons as they learned from home and paying her rent to keep the family housed. With support from Destination: Home’s Homelessness Prevention System, a program Apple helps fund, Rodriguez was able to pay her rent and had a little extra to take care of other essentials, including keeping the internet connected for her children’s remote learning, according to Apple.
“I found out about Destination: Home from the community garden and kitchen where I volunteer,” said Rodriguez. “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. I have always given back to my community, and this time my community gave back to me. I am so grateful that someone is fighting for us, especially in these times.”
With Apple’s support, the Homelessness Prevention System has provided financial and rental assistance to more than 15,000 families, like the Rodriguez family, since the beginning of the pandemic. Working alongside Destination: Home, Apple has also helped fund the construction of over 1,100 new units of deeply affordable and supportive housing for the community’s most vulnerable populations across Silicon Valley
In conjunction with CalHFA, Apple has provided mortgage and down payment assistance to thousands of low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Close to two-thirds of borrowers identify as Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian. The program has also provided additional benefits for teachers, veterans, and firefighters — which comprise nearly 10 percent of borrowers.
Taylor Mestres and her wife, Keteria Lara, are both the first in their families to own their own home.
Mestres, a sixth-grade teacher in the Manteca Unified School District, said she and Lara, a mental health professional, “wanted to break that generational system of constantly renting, and to have something with our name on it that was ours.” Given housing prices, they knew “it would only be possible if we could find a down payment assistance program.” After learning CalHFA had a program, supported by Apple, targeted towards teachers, they immediately began the paperwork.
Mestres and Lara moved into their home in December, just in time to celebrate the holidays. While the homebuying process can be complicated, Mestres said, “the program is so rewarding and makes it so easy.” She hopes she can use her familiarity with the process to “advocate for it and open it to other people who may need it,” maybe even helping others in her family buy their own homes.
Apple has also partnered with CalHFA to launch an affordable housing investment program, the first of its kind in California, which has increased the availability of funding to develop and build very low- to moderate-income housing at a lower cost. This innovative funding mechanism means the state now has access to financial resources that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Launched in July 2020, the program has become a critical tool to produce additional affordable housing units in the state.
Construction is underway for several new affordable housing developments in the South Bay and East Bay regions of Northern California, funded through a public-private partnership between Apple and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. To date, the partnership has committed funding to 10 projects, spanning the entire greater Bay Area. These projects are expected to create more than 800 new units of affordable housing, many of them reserved for vulnerable communities — including homeless senior citizens, veterans, and people with developmental disabilities.
In November 2019, Apple committed $2.5 billion to combat the housing crisis in California across a series of initiatives over several years, including:
A first-of-its-kind $1 billion affordable housing investment fund with the state of California.
A $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, with increased funding opportunities for essential services personnel, school employees, and veterans.
$300 million in Apple-owned land made available for affordable housing.
A $150 million Bay Area housing fund, in public-private partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley.
$50 million to support Destination: Home’s efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley.