Google has chosen to invest through a bank-administered tax credit program in which banks select affordable housing projects to fund. So far, none of the projects have been in Google's hometown of Mountain View, despite persistent calls from local housing advocates for more affordable housing.
"It's not like we're running around cherry-picking communities at our liking here," a Google spokesperson said.
U.S. Bank announced this week that it is investing $86 million from Google in 480 affordable housing units in Milwaukee, Wis., and Apple Valley, Minn., among four other Midwestern communities.
Google is also investing $6 million in a project in Inglewood, Calif., where 104 units of existing senior housing will be rehabilitated and senior social activities added. Google partnered with Union Bank for both the Sunnyvale and Inglewood projects.
In Sunnyvale, the $37.6 million Mid Peninsula Housing project at 660 South Fair Oaks Avenue will be home to low- and very low-income seniors. Rents will range from $498 to $1,193 for one- and two-bedroom units. A groundbreaking was scheduled for Aug. 31.
"Google recognizes the challenges associated with developing affordable housing in California and is proud to help meet this need by providing financing for some of the region's developers," said Brent Callinicos, vice president and treasurer of Google, in a press release on the Sunnyvale project.