Google funds 3 affordable housing projects in the Bay Area in billion dollar pledge


Google and its nonprofit Housing Trust partner Silicon Valley have loaned $ 30 million to three affordable housing projects in the Bay Area. The pledge, announced Thursday, is part of the tech giant’s $ 1 billion funding plan to support local housing, which began in 2019.

Projects include Bridge Housing’s I hope the development of SF in Potrero Hill, La Avenida of Eden Housing in Mountain View, USA Properties Fund and Tasman East of Pinyon Group in Santa Clara.

Google, Apple and Facebook pledged billions in 2019 to help bolster housing after soaring rents and selling prices over the past decade, making it harder for even well-paid tech workers to to find accommodation. The coronavirus pandemic has cooled the rental market, but a weak labor market has made housing a permanent burden for many. The development of housing at market prices is should slow down in the bay area, reducing fees that help support affordable housing projects.

“Affordable housing is needed more than ever given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our communities,” Rebecca Prozan, Google’s policy manager for the West Coast, said in a statement. “We continue to be as focused as ever to help the Bay Area build more affordable homes during this time of need. “

The Potrero Hill project includes approximately 619 replacement social housing units, into which existing residents will move into, as well as approximately 1,000 new affordable and market-priced units. The project was approved in 2017 and the first new building opened in 2019.

Cynthia Parker, CEO of Bridge Housing, said the Google loan would help accelerate the development of the project.

“This means over 800 affordable housing units along with a range of housing, amenities and open spaces that will uplift the entire community,” she said in a statement.

La Avenida has around 100 affordable housing units, a third of which is reserved for the homeless. The project at 1100 La Avenida St. has a budget of around $ 78 million, according to a 2020 city report. It is 1.5 miles from Google headquarters.

The Tasman East project at 2310 Calle Del Mundo provides for up to 150 housing units.

“This project will be one of the best-located transit-focused developments in Silicon Valley and will bring much-needed affordable housing to a wide range of incomes close to new and existing employment hubs,” said Geoff Brown , CEO of USA Properties Fund, said in a report.

Google has already funded projects in San Jose, Newark, and Sunnyvale. Other plans include converting the commercial land it owns into residential sites.

Despite a move towards more remote working, the tech giant has planned numerous office expansions in the Bay Area, including at North Bayshore in Mountain View, Santa Clara and near Diridon station in San José.

Roland Li is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @rolandlisf

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