Apple pledges $2.5 billion for affordable housing in California

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Apple says it will direct 2.5 billion dollars toward affordable housing in California, the latest tech giant to pledge money to one of the state’s most pressing problems.

The announcement follows similar big pledges this year from Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which put money toward housing in its home base of Seattle.

And it comes amid criticism that tech firms had done too little to ease an affordability crunch that their rapid expansion helped worsen.

“Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement.

“When these things fall out of reach for too many, we know the course we are on is unsustainable, and Apple is committed to being part of the solution.”

Apple will spread its money out in a variety of ways, including a 2-billion-dollar investment in partnership with the state of California.

The Cupertino company said it was investing 1 billion dollars in an affordable housing investment fund to help finance new, very low- to moderate-income housing.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, half of the 1 billion dollars will be accessible by the state and half of it by other public entities, with the state reserving oversight authority.

Apple said that it would invest another 1 billion dollars, which will allow the state to help more first-time home buyers with financing and down payment assistance.

Apple said capital it earns on the investments within the next five years will be reinvested in affordable housing.