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Facebook Commits $1B, Partners with State of California to Build 20,000 Affordable Housing Units

MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has committed $1 billion and will partner with the State of California to build 20,000 affordable workforce- and low-income housing units over the next 10 years. Many of the units will serve first responders and teachers who can’t afford to live in the communities they serve, according to a press release from Facebook.

According to David Wehner, CEO of Facebook, a family of four making $100,000 in San Francisco is considered low income. “The issue of affordable housing affects people across middle-class and low-income families alike,” says Wehner.

Facebook will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years as follows:

  • $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.
  • $150 million for production of affordable housing, including housing for the homeless, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Facebook 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, on which Facebook plans to build 1,500 units.
  • $25 million to build teacher and essential worker housing on public land for school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
  • $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.

“Access to more affordable housing for all families is key to addressing economic inequality and restoring social mobility in California and beyond,” says California Governor Gavin Newsom. “State government cannot solve housing affordability alone. Public-private partnerships around excess land is an important component in moving us forward.”

Menlo Park-based Facebook is the third tech company this year to announce plans to tackle the affordable housing crisis. In June, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., announced plans to invest $750 million in Silicon Valley to develop low-income, single-family homes. In January, Microsoft Corp. said it would put $500 million toward affordable housing surrounding its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Facebook’s stock price closed Wednesday at $186.15 per share, gaining 22 percent from Oct. 24, 2018, when it stood at $146.04 per share.

— Alex Tostado

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