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Can Google’s $1 Billion Real-Estate Pledge Put a Dent in the Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

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People walk near a sign outside of Google headquarters.

On Tuesday, Google announced plans to invest $1 billion in land and money to construct housing in the Bay Area over the next decade. The search giant is the third major tech employer this year that has pledged to address an acute housing shortage in its surrounding community. Yet Google’s commitment is different, not only for its size, but also for its focus on land.

The bulk of Google’s investment will come in the form of property that’s worth $750 million, the company says. This is land that Google already owns around the Bay Area and that it now plans to repurpose for residential use, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai explained in a blog post. Parts of the company’s present and future office campuses in cities such as Mountain View, San Jose, and San Francisco would be rezoned and converted to “new homes at all income levels … including housing options for middle and low-income families,” Pichai wrote.

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