By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) - Apple Inc on Monday said it has allocated more than $400 million of $2.5 billion it pledged last year to stem California's housing crisis.
The iPhone maker in November committed the funding to address what Chief Executive Tim Cook called a housing "affordability crisis that is existential" for many residents of the company's home state.
The majority of the first $400 million to be spent this year is going toward two programs Apple is working on with the California Housing Finance Agency. Under the first, Apple has provided funding to help state officials extend their ability to finance affordable housing projects with tax-exempt bonds.
Under the second, Apple has worked through the agency to help provide mortgage and down payment assistance to hundreds of first-time home buyers to date. The mortgage assistance program is aimed at low- and moderate-income first-time home buyers.
Apple said that it is also working with a public-private group called Housing Trust Silicon Valley to start work on four projects in the San Francisco Bay area that will create 250 new units of affordable housing, many of them reserved for veterans, the homeless or formerly homeless, and residents with developmental disabilities.
Apple is also providing funding to a public-private group called Destination: Home, addressing Silicon Valley's homelessness crisis. The two said Apple support has helped fund 1,000 new units of housing, including a 70-unit project in Santa Clara designed for seniors experiencing homelessness or at risk of it. The Apple funding also helped expand a program that the group said helped keep 1,500 families from losing their homes.
“We were able to immediately invest their funding into several new housing developments that will provide a permanent home to vulnerable residents across the region and reinforce our homelessness prevention system at a time when we’re seeing an unprecedented number of at-risk families in need," Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home’s chief executive, said in a statement.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)