Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently announced the company’s plans to invest $1 billion in housing across the Bay Area with a blog post June 18.
“Our goal is to help communities succeed over the long term, and make sure that everyone has access to opportunity, whether or not they work in tech,” Pichai wrote in his announcement.
The investment plan proposes $750 million of Google-owned land to be repurposed for housing, enabling the company to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels. An additional investment fund of $250 million is going to be established to incentivize developers to build a minimum of 5,000 affordable housing units.
Housing construction will begin immediately, and homes will be available “in the next few years,” Pichai wrote.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was among the politicians to issue a statement in response to Google’s announcement.
“We look forward to working with Google to ensure today’s announcement manifests into housing that will benefit thousands of San Jose residents struggling under the burden of high rent,” Liccardo said.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, invited the government, businesses, housing advocates and neighbors to “work together to solve our housing emergency.”
The San Jose-based nonprofit Working Partnerships USA recently released a report that found that the city could face large rent increases as a result of Google’s planned “mega-campus” downtown if thousands of homes weren’t built.
The group’s director of public policy, Jeffrey Buchanan, issued a statement saying it is “encouraging to see Google taking the concerns of local communities seriously by recognizing some responsibility for its role in our region’s housing crisis.”