Tech companies donate millions for Bay Area affordable housing

Bay Area

A trio of technology companies has stepped up to help with the lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area.

The big-time donation was received by the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley.

Launched last year to fund affordable housing projects like The Villas on the Park on North Second Street in Downtown San Jose, Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s “Tech Fund,” has now reached $50 million. Cisco Systems on Tuesday pledged $10 million to the fund, while LinkedIn and the Mountain View-based Pure Storage donated $5 million each, says Housing Trust’s Chief Financial Officer Julie Mahowald said.

“We are so excited to have the three companies come together as a partnership and show their faith in the housing trust and how we can quickly take their invested dollars and break ground and get housing built,” Mahowald said.

The Second Street Studios, at Second and Alma in San Jose, is another Housing Trust project.

The tech fund was established as an avenue for tech companies, many of whom have been criticized for helping to create the housing shortage, to do something about it. 

“That pressure is out there,” Mahowald said. “It isn’t the full responsibility of corporations, but they have people who live here and they recognize that these are problems right here in their backyard that they can help solve.”

To date, tech fund dollars have helped finance 15 affordable housing projects with a combined $1,500 low-income homes.

The Housing Trust hopes this latest donation will help inspire other technology companies to open their wallets.

It’s also important to point out that both Cisco and LinkedIn already each donated $10 million to the tech fund last year.

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