By David Wehner
Facebook builds and supports communities, both online and off. Today, we’re committing $1 billion to help address the affordable housing crisis in California, and in other communities where we operate that face similar challenges. Our investment will go toward creating up to 20,000 new housing units to help essential workers such as teachers, nurses and first responders live closer to the communities that rely on them. And as part of our commitment, we’ve partnered with California Governor Gavin Newsom and the State of California to help accelerate progress on this issue.
“Access to more affordable housing for all families is key to addressing economic inequality and restoring social mobility in California and beyond,” said Governor Newsom. “State government cannot solve housing affordability alone, we need others to join Facebook in stepping up – progress requires partnership with the private sector and philanthropy to change the status quo and address the cost crisis our state is facing. Public-private partnerships around excess land is an important component in moving us forward.”
In San Francisco, a family of four making over $100,000 per year is considered low income. The issue of affordable housing affects people across middle-class and low-income families alike. In 2016, we partnered with community groups and local governments to establish the $75 million Catalyst Housing Fund to address housing issues near our Menlo Park headquarters, and earlier this year, we helped found the $500 million Partnership for the Bay’s Future that aims to protect, produce and preserve 175,000 homes for all in the Bay Area. We’ve also established a pilot teacher housing program, affordable housing preservation fund and support for tenant legal services.
Based on this work and feedback from our employees and neighbors, we’ve learned that the production of affordable housing across the income spectrum is a problem throughout California and must be addressed through partnerships that bring companies, communities, non-profit organizations and policy makers statewide together to find creative solutions.
That’s why we’re investing $1 billion as follows over the next decade:
- $250 million to a partnership with the State of California for mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land in communities where housing is scarce. This public-private partnership ensures that incremental new housing supply is brought to the market segments that need it most.
- $150 million for production of affordable housing, including housing for the homeless, in the San Francisco Bay Area. We will contribute to the Bay’s Future Fund, the affordable housing investment fund of Partnership for the Bay’s Future, to work toward a more livable, equitable and racially and economically diverse Bay Area.
- $225 million in land in Menlo Park. This is land Facebook previously purchased, that is now zoned for housing. We are committed to producing more than 1,500 units of mixed-income housing.
- $25 million to build teacher and essential worker housing on public land for school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. This partnership with Santa Clara County and local school districts, announced October 17th, will help fund construction of housing on county-owned land for teachers and other essential workers, enabling them to live near the communities where they work.
- $350 million in funds for additional commitments based on the rollout and effectiveness of the initiatives described above. These funds will also be used to support more affordable housing in other communities where Facebook has offices.