Google to invest $1B, repurpose land for housing development

Company CEO announced plans in blog post Tuesday

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday announced that the company plans to invest $1 billion in housing across the Bay Area.

“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 a blog post.

The investment plan proposes to repurpose $750 million of Google-owned land 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 will be established to encourage 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 released a report last week 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 Tuesday 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.”

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