When Apple wanted to clear a large homeless encampment from its San Jose, California, property last year, the tech giant didn’t just remove everyone off the site — it spent millions of dollars to give dozens of people a nine-month motel stay and help them find housing, according to The Seattle Times. That effort has had mixed results.
In July 2021, Apple said it was accelerating its support for affordable housing initiatives and had deployed more than US$1 billion for projects across California.
Apple’s affordable housing commitments are designed to address housing scarcity and affordability across several distinct approaches, targeting various populations and filling existing gaps in the space. In partnership with Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the $1 billion in funding has helped support new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness.
In San Jose, Apple’s efforts have helped permanently house eight people, more than three times that many were still awaiting placements days before a deadline for removing a large homeless encampment near its property.
However, The Seattle Times says The Apple-funded program has faced a series of hurdles that are mirrored throughout the region: It struggled to find enough affordable housing, gain the trust of people who have spent years living outside, work through their arrests, addictions and other obstacles, and meet their medical, mental health and other complex needs.
Apple declined to comment on the program specifically, but said, “We’ve been working with partners across the state to support at-risk communities and provide new affordable units.”