As a community builder, Apple has increased its support for affordable housing in California, U.S. by deploying $1 billion in the past eighteen months. In partnership with Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the company’s $1 billion in funding has facilitated the development and construction of new housing, provided assistance to first-time homebuyers, and more importantly expanded the programs to reduce homelessness in several counties in California, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Apple’s financial support, the Homelessness Prevention System provided financial and rental assistance to more than 15,000 families. In addition, Apple’s funding enabled Destination: Home to construct construction over 1,100 new units of deeply affordable and supportive housing for the community’s most vulnerable populations across Silicon Valley.
In July 2020, the company allocated $400 million in affordable housing projects and homeowner assistance programs in California as part of its $2.5 billion commitment over multiple years. And the recently deployed $1 billion is a major milestone to reduce the housing crisis in the state. Kristina Raspe, Apple’s vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities said;
“California’s communities have shown their resilience in the face of immense challenges this past year. As we look to a brighter future ahead, Apple is committed to continuing our work with partners across the state to support these communities and help combat the housing crisis in meaningful ways. As we expand our efforts and move forward with our comprehensive plan to address housing in the state, we’re proud our work has made a tangible impact on the lives of so many Californians.”
Apple’s support for affordable housing initiatives helped communities hit by the COVID-19 pandemic
During the pandemic, Alma Rodriguez of San Jose lost her job and found it very difficult to continue the care and education of her three sons and pay rent. Luckily, the Destination: Home’s Homelessness Prevention System helped her in testing times. Rodriguez said;
“I found out about Destination: Home from the community garden and kitchen where I volunteer. Once the pandemic hit, it was very hard to provide for my family, and every dollar meant a lot to me. When I found out about receiving the support I couldn’t believe it — without that help we would have lost our internet and so much more. I have always given back to my community, and this time my community gave back to me. I am so grateful that someone is fighting for us, especially in these times.”
Like Rodriguez, Destination: Home has helped more than 15,000 families. Another beneficiary of CalHFA and Apple’s mortgage and down payment assistance program, Taylor Mestres, and Keteria Lara are happy to be first-generation homeowners and to break the cycle of living on rent. Mestres said;
Taylor Mestres and her wife, Keteria Lara, are both the first in their families to own their own home. Mestres, a sixth-grade teacher in the Manteca Unified School District, said she and Lara, a mental health professional, “wanted to break that generational system of constantly renting, and to have something with our name on it that was ours.” Given housing prices, they knew “it would only be possible if we could find a down payment assistance program.” After learning CalHFA had a program, supported by Apple, targeted towards teachers, they immediately began the paperwork.