Google announces $1B investment to build 20,000 Bay Area homes

19 Juin, 2019, 06:13 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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Google says the money should result in 20,000 new homes added to the local market, over 10 years.

Pichai shared details of the plan in a post on the company's blog, noting that Google is among the "largest employers" in the region - which is experiencing an "urgent and complex" housing problem, he said.

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The company also pledged an additional $50m in grants through Google.org to not-for-profit groups focused on homelessness and displacement.

"We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents", Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement unveiling the plan Tuesday. Mark Zuckerberg's nonprofit Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leading an initiative to raise $500 million to build 8,000 Bay Area homes in the next decade. "Many of my friends have already been priced out, forced to move to Stockton or Modesto".

"We work hard to get right, and every few years we feel the need to evolve them because we see changes in how the platform is getting used", Pichai told CNN.

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"I know that if Google comes to San Jose and doesn't act responsibly to avoid driving rents even higher, I won't be able to stay here either", Chavez wrote.

Google has a $1 billion plan to put a dent in the Bay Area housing crisis. "That's going to require a multifaceted commitment by a lot more entities, primarily local governments, to match what Google has done". Almost half of those workers are based in the Bay Area. From 2007 to 2014, the nine counties of the Bay Area permitted just 57% of the number of units needed to meet population growth, Regan explained. In pledging to support the development of 20,000 units, Google is vowing to take care of 68% of the 29,500 new homes the area is estimated to need each year.

Google is also facing intense scrutiny more broadly as a company, so a pledge to help ease the housing crisis could also be an attempt to help improve public sentiment. In an interview given to CNN, Pichai said that Google is not working on a Chinese search engine. "Everyone is struggling to find housing, but we need to be putting the priority on people who are suffering the most".

"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.

Google is extending a helping hand as it draws up plans to expand into sprawling offices beyond its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

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