Google has announced its billion dollar (1.43 billon AUD) plans to build at least 20,000 homes across the San Francisco Bay Area.
Over the next 10 years, the technology giant will repurpose at least US$750 million (1.07 billion AUD) of Google’s land from officer or commercial space to residential housing. By doing so, the company aims to support development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income areas in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle- and low-income families.
In addition, it aims to establish a $250 million (357.5 million AUD) investment fund to provide incentives for developers to build an additional 5000 affordable housing units.
A further $50 million (71 million AUD) in grants will be offered through Google.org to non-profits to fight homelessness and displacement.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement that the company would continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically.
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“Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years,” Pichai said.
“In Mountain View, we’ve already worked with the city to change zoning in the North Bayshore area to free up land for housing, and we’re currently in productive conversations with Sunnyvale and San Jose.
“We’re also funding community spaces that provide free access to co-working areas for nonprofits, improving transit options for the community and our employees (taking 9,000 cars off the road per day), and supporting programs for career development, education and local businesses.”
Pichai said the company’s goal is to help communities succeed over the long term and make sure everyone has access to opportunity, whether or not they work in the technology sector.
“Solving a big issue like the housing shortage will take collaboration across business, government and community organisations, and we look forward to working alongside others to make the Bay Area a place where everyone who lives here can thrive.”