A tech company paying six figures to a college grad–or someone right out of high school–might seem like a dream, if finding housing they could afford wasn’t such a nightmare. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is about $3,700, in Los Angeles it’s about $2,500.
The median family income for the United States is $75,500 in Fiscal Year 2019, an increase of five percent over 2018.
Now, technology companies are stepping up to offer help with the housing crisis that they helped create.
Last week Facebook became the latest company to pledge money to help ease a housing crisis. The social media giant said it would allocate $1 billion in grants, land, and loans to generate more affordable housing in California’s Bay Area. The funds will be used to build an estimated 20,000 housing units for middle- to low-income households.
The companies are looking to add affordable housing around their campuses. Facebook will use the money to generate more housing over the next decade.
“If we are going to solve housing, we have to hit every income level,” Menka Sethi, director of location strategy for Facebook, told The New York Times. “The market is not building this housing, and we are currently working with nonprofit developers to figure out what our capital needs to look like to make that happen.”
While California boasts some of the highest salaries, it also has the highest state poverty levels.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been calling on technology companies to contribute to affordable housing and has asked corporations to use cash to aid in state housing efforts. Facebook’s announcement last week was made jointly with Newsom.
“State government cannot solve housing affordability alone, we need others to join Facebook in stepping up—progress requires partnership with the private sector and philanthropy to change the status quo and address the cost crisis our state is facing,” Newsom said.