Google invests $ 1 billion to ease the housing crisis in San Francisco

In 1998, Google was paying to 1,700 dollars per month for the rental of the guest room and the garage of Susan Wojcicki, the current CEO of YouTube. It was the

Google invests $ 1 billion to ease the housing crisis in San Francisco

In 1998, Google was paying to 1,700 dollars per month for the rental of the guest room and the garage of Susan Wojcicki, the current CEO of YouTube. It was the first office of the american company in the Silicon Valley. Two decades later, a small apartment with one bedroom located near the current headquarters of the company cost approximately $ 3,500 per month. The development of the tech giants in Silicon Valley has resulted in a shortage of affordable housing . A problem that Google decided to address. On Tuesday, he pledged to invest a billion dollars in land and money for the construction of housing. "In the next ten years, we will transform land of Google, for a value of at least $ 750 million, is currently planned for offices and shops, land for housing," said Sundar Pichai in a blog post. This should, according to him, allow to develop to 15,000 new units of affordable housing at different types of scholarships.

In addition, Google plans to create an investment fund of $ 250 million to encourage developers to build 5 000 units of affordable housing. $ 50 million will also be awarded, via Google.org to non-profit organizations that help the homeless. The american company made its announcement one day prior to the annual meeting of the shareholders of its parent company, Alphabet. During these meetings in the last year, people had protested outside the headquarters of Google at Mountain View to protest the lack of affordable housing in the bay area of San Francisco.

Stop recruiting

If Lenny Siegel, a former councillor of Mountain View, welcomes the announcement of Google, it considers that the problem will be only solved if the company stops hiring. This, because of the imbalance between new jobs and the existence of housing. Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and many start-ups focus their wealth to San Francisco and Seattle. They attract employees from around the world in these areas, but the housing supply has not kept pace. Alphabet continues to hire. At the end of 2018, it plans to 98.771 employees while they were 80.110 a year earlier.

The Google ad is the latest attempt of the giants of the technology to deal with the problem they helped create. Accused of being responsible for the soaring prices of real estate, several have taken similar initiatives. In January, a group of philanthropists of the bay area, including Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has pledged to invest $ 500 million to preserve the housing of 175,000 families, and build an 8,000 others over the course of the next decade. This, through loans and other forms of assistance to community groups. The same month, Microsoft announced that it would also allocate $ 500 million for the construction of housing in the Seattle area, where is located its head office.

Updated Date: 21 June 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees

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