June 19 (UPI) — Google on Tuesday announced plans to invest $1 billion to build 20,000 homes in the California Bay Area over the next 10 years.
In a post on the company’s blog, CEO Sundar Pichai said the plan involves repurposing some of the company’s land and providing incentives for developers to construct affordable housing. Google’s base in the Bay Area has experienced rising living costs and a lack of housing.
“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.
Google plans to repurpose at least $750 million worth of the company’s land that is currently zoned for office or commercial space to be used for the development of 15,000 new homes.
Pichai said the homes will be affordable for “all income levels” including middle- and low-income families.
Additionally, the company will establish a $250 million investment fund to encourage and enable developers to construct another 5,000 homes throughout the area’s housing market.
“Solving a big issue like the housing shortage will take collaboration across business, government and community organizations and we look forward to working alongside others to make the Bay Area a place where everyone who lives here can thrive,” Pichai wrote.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he hoped the announcement “inspires other companies — big and small — to make similar direct investments in housing.”