Google and Housing Trust Silicon Valley – a nonprofit community loan fund that works to create a strong affordable housing market in the greater Bay Area – are announcing the first investments in affordable housing from Launch Initiative, the $50 million fund rolled out in July. This comes just months after the fund was established as another investment from Google’s $1 billion Bay Area Housing commitment.
So far, the fund has provided loans for affordable housing in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Newark, which is expected to complete around 700 homes by the end of 2024. Previously announced developments funded by Launch Initiative include Alum Rock by Charities Housing (San Jose) and Timber Street by Eden Housing (Newark). The two newly funded projects are McEvoy (San Jose) and Orchard Gardens (Sunnyvale).
The $29 million investment in McEvoy, split between Google and Housing Trust, is the largest loan in Housing Trust’s 20-year history as well as the largest loan Google has made to date. The project will create 365 affordable homes a half-mile from Diridon Station. First Community Housing, the developer of McEvoy, is prioritizing sustainability features – including water and energy efficient measures – as well as targeting LEED Platinum Certification. In addition to the project meeting GreenTRIP standards that evaluate traffic reduction strategies and bicycle parking standards, Eco Passes, which prove access to VTA bus and light rail systems, will be provided to each household to further reduce the need and expense of owning a car.
“I’m thrilled to see Google and the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley combine forces to accelerate the development of this sustainable, affordable housing for hundreds of San Jose families and workers struggling to pay high rents,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I applaud our partners for their catalytic role in driving what will become a national model for inclusive, transit-oriented development.”
“I want to express my excitement about one of the world’s first mass timber affordable housing projects reducing carbon emissions and creating affordable housing at the new ‘Grand Central Station of the West,’” said Geoffrey Morgan, President and CEO of First Community Housing, which has a long history creating sustainable, green affordable homes. “Thanks to the investments by Google and Housing Trust, this will be our best example of high density, transit-oriented development yet, located right in the heart of Silicon Valley to allow our 365 households economic opportunity in a thriving, service enriched community.”
With around 700 units already enabled in the first few months of operating, Launch Initiative is on track to meet its goal of delivering 4,000 homes within 10 years. This supports Google’s broader housing commitment, which expects to create 24,000 affordable homes in the next nine years.
“Affordable housing development is more urgent now than ever given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our communities,” said Javier González, Google’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager. “As a native San Josean, I’m proud that, together, Google and Housing Trust have already invested in multiple affordable housing projects just a few months after the formation of our joint investment fund.”
“The work of financing affordable housing has become more critical as the pandemic demonstrates the link between housing and health and as families struggle to meet rent payments during the resulting recession,” said Julie Mahowald, Interim CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “We’re grateful for partners like Google coming up with new ways to magnify the impact of acquisition and predevelopment dollars, and hope to see this sort of effort scale up across the state. These definitive and sustainable actions taken now are just the beginning of the impact Housing Trust can have as it collaborates and innovates with its enthusiastic partner, Google.”
Google and Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s Launch Initiative, announced on July 23, 2020, is a $50 million fund aimed to accelerate the start-up and preservation of affordable homes. The fund doubles the size of the collaboration between the two organizations as Google invested in Housing Trust’s TECH Fund shortly after its June 2019 pledge of $1 billion for housing across the greater Bay Area.
ABOUT HOUSING TRUST SILICON VALLEY
Housing Trust Silicon Valley (Housing Trust) is a nonprofit community loan fund based in San Jose that believes safe, stable and affordable housing opens the door to better living for everyone. Since 2000, Housing Trust has invested over $335 million in programs that help everyone from those experiencing homelessness to renters to first-time homebuyers – creating over 20,100 affordable housing opportunities serving over 36,000 of our neighbors across the greater Bay Area. It is the first nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to receive a Standard & Poor’s rating, AA-, because of its strong capacity to meet financial commitments. For more information visit www.housingtrustsv.org.
Learn more about Google’s housing commitment at g.co/housingcommitment.