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LinkedIn pledges $10 million for affordable housing

New loan program would help subsidized housing projects acquire land

Taking a unique approach to providing affordable housing, LinkedIn is pledging $10 million in seed money that would be loaned out for new residential developments in Mountain View. This pool of money is described as a new tool to help affordable housing projects that struggle to acquire property in a competitive real estate market.

Mountain View city officials formally approved the idea last week. If the plan goes forward, the money would be administered by the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley as part of the nonprofit's TECH fund.

"This is an innovative way we can tackle one affordable housing challenge right now," said Kevin Zwick, Housing Trust president. "This is another way that the city of Mountain View is in the vanguard of showing cities new ways to do affordable housing."

LinkedIn is contributing the $10 million as an upfront community benefit for the tech giant's proposed 612,000-square-foot expansion of its campus at 700 Middlefield Road. The money would be deducted from the normal housing impact fees for the project, which are expected to total $16 million.

Normally, developers pay housing impact fees when they receive building permits, which isn't expected to happen until mid-2019 for the LinkedIn project. In order to put the money to use right away, LinkedIn proposed paying this $10 million portion in advance to help the Housing Trust's loan program.

City staff emphasized that the upfront payment was not a quid pro quo to guarantee the city would approve the company's Middlefield project. If the city ends up rejecting the development project, the $10 million would be eventually repaid to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn's money is being specifically targeted to help affordable housing developers acquire land in Mountain View, which has been an ongoing challenge given the super-heated real estate market.

The loan program would last for five years, and LinkedIn officials said they hoped multiple affordable housing projects could benefit from it. Zwick, of the Housing Trust, promised that city officials would be consulted about which projects should benefit from the investment loans.

Email Mark Noack at mnoack@mv-voice.com

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Comments

49 people like this
Posted by NO BIG DEAL!
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 17, 2017 at 8:42 pm

So they paid their fees early...how is this even a story?

We need an employee tax on companies that employ over 500 people whether or not all their employees are based in MV.


91 people like this
Posted by You've gotta be kidding
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

That'll buy maybe 10 properties. And in exchange they build 612,000 sf of office space? Get lost. We need a moratorium on new office and commercial space across the whole Bay Area, not more housing. Let the jobs distribute elsewhere rather than moronically trying to cram them all into the SF Bay Area.


36 people like this
Posted by Thad
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2017 at 1:23 pm

This was an ad for LinkedIn.


72 people like this
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

The city has to repay it if they don't approve LinkedIn's project! So if the city spends the housing money and then doesn't approve their project they city's on the hook. That's not a pledge. That's a backhanded quid pro quo.


6 people like this
Posted by Steve Chandler
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm

This is great!
Mountain View desperately needs more affordable housing!


3 people like this
Posted by early opportunity benefit?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

This seems the opposit effect from an Opportunity Cost. It seems to be a benefit to have the money sooner - rather than 2 or three years later. Hopefully no COLA, inflation or other adjustments in the agreement. I do not think that Cost of Land is going to decrease here in the next three years. So - not an extreme benefit (come on why not ADDITIONAL $10,000,000) but it sure seems to me a slight early opportunity benefit. (not worth a change of vote!)


9 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

@You've gotta be kidding

Appropriate name. Instead of trying to kill the job market in the Bay Area, we could actually build high-density housing along mass transit.


40 people like this
Posted by @YIMBY
a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Please clarify what part of displacing jobs from the Bay Area to, say, Longmont CO, Austin TX, etc is a negative? Is it the lower salaries necessary to sustain a given standard of living and associated higher profits? The lower income taxes workers would pay in other states (especially after tax reform kicks in)? The ability of workers to afford a home rather than living in RVs on ECR? Reduced commute time and more time with family for those who live and work both here and elsewhere?

I'd hazard a guess that a tiny percentage of LinkedIn jobs (using this example) actually require a worker's physical presence and couldn't be as easily accomplished with a remote connection overlooking the Columbia River Gorge and Webex. I'd take that opportunity in a heartbeat with a huge salary cut.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Your reference to the massive giveaway by the Republicans to their rich donors as "tax reform" says all that I need to know about you. For everything else you bring up, high-density housing and investment in mass transit alleviate all of those issues.


28 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Give the money back and remain independent.


61 people like this
Posted by @yimby
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Ha haha, You got to be kidding, thinking that just because someone lives next to mass transit they will be using all the time.

You want high density, move to NYC, or back to detroit.


11 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Sorry, @, YIMBY is a Bay Area native, unlike you. Just because you're too set in your ways, doesn't mean you get to dictate what others do.


15 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm

@@yimby

Nah, I'll stay here and keep voting for high-density growth initiatives and politicians that support them. If you want low-density I encourage you to move to a more rural area.


127 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Hopefully there are enough of us who want to keep the flair and suburban feel that we moved here for and can stop the over-building and over-use of our local natural resources. YIMBY is free to push his agenda but there are many of us, most not nearly as vocal but still powerful in our voting, who very strongly disagree with his proposals.

Just because you want to live here does not make it a right. There are MANY reasons to discourage high-density and as a culture and society we need to seriously talk about the long term effects of overbuilding in our cities and states. Particularly given the challenges that California faces with resources.


21 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 22, 2017 at 8:39 am

The Donald is a registered user.

I say build it out,it's gonna happen anyway. The money talks and will drive the real estate development to push higher and denser and less affordible.

You can't stop it now with an endless flow of money coming in from China and a tech thirsty economy driven by global desires. You wanted success, this is what it looks like with people filling our cities from overseas. Overcrowding, expensive and loss of quality of life.

If you want to survive it.. Make your fortune and get out!
That's what I did.


15 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 22, 2017 at 9:00 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

I've got to say, The Donald, this is the first time I've agreed with you. The best course of action is for mvresident2003 to get out.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:04 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

What a joke, if you read the story it says:

Taking a unique approach to providing affordable housing, LinkedIn is pledging $10 MILLION IN SEED MONEY THAT WOULD BE LOANED OUT for new residential developments in Mountain View. This pool of money is described as a new tool to help affordable housing projects that struggle to acquire property in a competitive real estate market.

They are not do anyone any favors, this was just another means to get some kind of control over the City of Mountain View. Watch, if this is used, they will threaten the City with demanding payment for the loan in one payment. This is just another corporate scam.


100 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Randy. Do you really think it's a good idea and the best thing for California to continue over-crowding, over-building and over-taxing our resources? Once could argue that the recent fires up North are a result of this expansion gone wild. What is so wrong with encouraging growth elsewhere, places with more natural resources and less chances of wildfires, drought, etc?

And could we possibly have a civil discourse without the snide, snarky comments? I'm happy to discuss/debate this with anyone, it's healthy to have these discussions but I'm not in it if it can't be civil.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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