Wait. Isn’t Apple already a banker of sorts? Isn’t that what Apple Card is? I’ll give Apple some credit, though– the company is willing to put its money where its mouth is. Solar power? Check. Stock buybacks? Check. Dividends? Check. Affordable housing?
Somehow the guy running for political office from The Rent Is Too Damned High Party hasn’t been seen much recently. Everyone loves to see a crazy political candidate show up from time to time. These days we’d like to turn them off and send them to a retirement home.
Apple has launched a $2.5-billion plan to help California’s housing problem with… insert the famous Mac360 drum roll here… money! $1-billion for affordable housing investments. $1-billion in mortgage assistance for first-time buyers. A few hundred million dollars worth of Apple land, and a few hundred million for targeted lower-income housing in the Bay Area. Apple is talking low to moderate-income households, rather than Apple employees, most of whom probably make good money.
Apple’s Lisa Jackson:
We have worked closely with leading experts to put together a plan that confronts this challenge on all fronts, from the critical need to increase housing supply, to support for first-time homebuyers and young families, to essential philanthropy to assist those at greatest risk. Apple is committed to being a good neighbor and helping to write the next chapter of the region that has been a great home of innovation and creativity for generations
Kudos to Apple.
How far would all that money go if it was aimed only at Apple’s current employees– those who make under $100,000 a year. $1-billion would only pay for 2,000 houses or apartments or condos at $500,000 each. 4,000 at $250,000 each. If you’ve ever checked out the real estate market in and around the Bay Area you’ll see that 4,000 residences are a drop in the bucket.
$300-million of land in Iowa will get you more, well, land, than it will in the Bay Area or almost anywhere else in California; except maybe Bakersfield. Apple can afford to take the lead on such a plan, which smacks more of CEO Tim Cook than co-founder Steve Jobs, but to have any impact on the housing crisis Apple will need to spend $2.5-billion a year for many years– instead of giving it back to shareholders as dividends.