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Adobe Stock/Stuart Miles
Stuart Miles Adobe Stock/Stuart Miles

Markets in California are being hit the hardest with the affordable housing crisis. Many groups outside of the housing industry are stepping up to help solve it with brain trusts and cash donations. This Los Angeles Times article discusses how Airbnb just announced a major donation to the cause.

Home rental company Airbnb says it will invest $25 million toward affordable housing and other community needs, the latest plan by tech firms to ease a housing crisis their rapid growth has helped exacerbate.

Airbnb said the money would be split between Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area, the state’s largest urban centers, where residents are grappling with sky-high housing costs and a surge in homelessness. In addition to the preservation or creation of below-market rental housing, Airbnb said it would direct funding toward promoting homeownership for low- to moderate-income households, financing “meaningful infrastructure initiatives” through municipal bonds and supporting small businesses through loans.

“These investments have the potential to generate solid returns for our company and make communities stronger,” Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has called on tech companies to support affordable housing, said in a statement Airbnb’s investment was “a critical first step on behalf of their community, and we need more businesses to follow their lead.”

Given the scale of the housing crisis, the money is unlikely to go far.

Affordable-housing developers use a variety of financing sources to get a project off the ground. But using one gauge of the cost to build affordable housing in California, $25 million would be enough to build 76 new homes.

Airbnb acknowledged the money wasn’t huge but said if the investments were successful, the company might expand the pilot program, directing more resources to “projects that support families and communities throughout California and across the country.”

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