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Google announces $1 billion Bay Area housing investment

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company’s plans to invest $1 billion in housing across the Bay Area with a blog post Tuesday morning.

In his announcement, Pichai wrote:

“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.”

The investment plan proposes $750 million of Google-owned land to be repurposed for housing, enabling the company to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels. An additional investment fund of $250 million will be established to incentivize developers to build a minimum of 5,000 affordable housing units.

Housing construction will begin immediately, and homes will be available “in the next few years,” Pichai wrote.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was among the politicians to issue a statement in response to Google’s announcement.

Liccardo said:

“We look forward to working with Google to ensure today’s announcement manifests into housing that will benefit thousands of San Jose residents struggling under the burden of high rent.”

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, invited the government, businesses, housing advocates and neighbors to:

“[W]ork together to solve our housing emergency.”

The San Jose-based nonprofit Working Partnerships USA released a report last week that found the city could face large rent increases as a result of Google’s planned “mega-campus” downtown if thousands of homes aren’t built.

The group’s director of public policy Jeffrey Buchanan issued a statement Tuesday saying:

It is “encouraging to see Google taking the concerns of local communities seriously by recognizing some responsibility for its role in our region’s housing crisis.”

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