Since about 1970, California has been experiencing an extended and increasing housing shortage, such that by 2018, California ranked 49th among the United States in housing units per resident. Experts say that California needs to double its current rate of housing production (85,000 units per year) just to keep up with expected population growth and prevent prices from further increasing, and needs to quadruple the current rate of housing production over the next 7 years in order for prices and rents to decline (source: Wikipedia).
In his efforts to address the state’s housing affordability crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom convened top executives from major California employers for a roundtable discussion on the important role the private sector must play. The discussion took place on November 13th. The Governor called on these businesses to go even further in funding affordable housing for the community, and in supporting projects that create new housing opportunities for Californians of all income levels.
“Addressing the housing affordability crisis requires all sectors – business, philanthropy and government – to step up and collaborate on solutions that make significant contributions toward housing production,” said Governor Newsom. “No single approach will solve this problem. It requires a coordinated effort with difficult conversations and leading-edge solutions to make a meaningful impact. The companies I met with today get the urgency of the problem and are leaning in to do more.”
The companies that participated in the discussion were:
– Google CEO Sundar Pichai
– Pinterest Co-Founder and CEO Benjamin Silbermann
– Minted Founder and CEO Marian Naficy
– LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
– Blue Shield of California President and CEO Paul Markovich
– United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz
– Facebook CFO David Wehner
– Sequoia Capital Partner and Chairman Michael Moritz
– Splunk President of Worldwide Field Operations Susan St. Ledger
– Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Chris Larsen
– Tanium Co-Founder and CEO Orion Hindawi
– Stripe CEO Patrick Collison
– Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan
– Zoom CEO Eric Yuan
– SV Angel Founder and Co-Managing Partner Ron Conway
Community-based organizations that participated:
– The San Francisco Foundation
– Tipping Point Community
– All Home
– Silicon Valley Community Foundation
– Destination Home
– The SF Housing Accelerator Fund
At the meeting, the Governor highlighted recent commitments to build more affordable housing made by Apple, Facebook and Google, and encouraged other companies to follow their lead. These commitments follow the Governor’s call for corporate leaders to do more to help address the workforce housing issues exacerbated by their companies’ growth.
The Governor urged the business leaders to step up and support their communities through a variety of measures, including taking advantage of $500 million in tax credits provided for in the 2019 Budget Act to invest in affordable housing loans, investing capital in affordable housing funds and nonprofits committed to providing wrap-around services for vulnerable populations, partnering with local advocacy organizations to support housing projects and local tenant protections, and collaborating with each other to amplify their efforts.
Ripple has already supported the Bay Area with its $1 million grant to Tipping Point, to fight poverty (March 2019). Last year, Ripple also launched Ripple for Good, to support mission-driven organizations and initiatives with the potential to expand financial inclusion worldwide.