Town Square

Post a New Topic

Google gives an update on its $1B commitment to combat Bay Area housing crisis

Original post made on Jul 26, 2022

Three years after pledging to invest $1 billion toward increasing the Bay Area's housing supply and supporting organizations that combat homelessness, Google shared how this commitment is unfolding.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 8:47 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 26, 2022 at 10:39 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"All together, Google aims to build close to 13,000 units of housing across the south Bay Area, the majority of which are planned for Mountain View. "

Without knowing more about past and present plans for employees and contractors this number is meaningless.

Posted by Paige
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2022 at 11:02 am

Paige is a registered user.

The numbers don't quite work. According to this LA Times article "affordable" units now cost about $1M per unit. Web Link

That means $1B would produce 1000 affordable units. Now, maybe Google can do better than $1M/du, but 13,000 units for $1B?

The article doesn't tell us two things.

One, noted in the comment above; what is the "net" housing difference between Google supplied housing and Google employment?

And two, are the housing projects listed in this article funded out of the $1B or are they simply market rate projects Google is building, largely, for its own employees?

Of course Google will build housing to enable its own employment growth. That is not the issue. The issue is if Google employment exceeds Google supplied housing then higher-paid Google employees will crowd-out existing lower-paid, non-Google residents for existing housing stock.

Increasing net housing deficits creates a game of reverse musical chairs. Adding players for whom there is no chair. A Google net housing imbalance will cause more gentrification and out-migration.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jul 26, 2022 at 11:42 am

MyFeelz is a registered user.

During the end of the COVID lockdown, Google's response was to have all of the RV'ers who lined the streets of their all but empty parking lots removed. That's a great way to use "philanthropy to test new methods of intervention". Way to go. I look at what they DO, as opposed to what they SAY they "want" to do. There's a mismatch there.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2022 at 5:04 pm

Citizen is a registered user.


Bay Area: attractive employment center w/great quality of life, ie, very expensive/desirable for decades.

Large tech employers: concentrate workers in 5 cities, incl SF/Bay Area. Income inequality/influx of workers crowd out diverse populations of ordinary people/small businesses.

Developers: build willy nilly, ignore limits like infrastructure, disaster vulnerability, climate change/urban heat sinks, drought, on false premise that it's possible to fix this by ignoring infinitely more fluid demand side. Safety experts say density will cost lives in next disaster; economic experts say for first time, living in cities DECREASES opportunity for middle/low-skill workers.

Building willy nilly: accepted as proxy for creating affordability.

Increased density/urbanization: predictably, increased ills of density/urbanization without creating affordability

Safety/QoL: e.g.,density, pollution, traffic circulation (time), noise, crowding, loss of small businesses/economic diversity,etc, get called nimby and ignored so big companies have free rein. Public left w/consequences; partisans claim ills are from "liberal" caring. Profit privatized, consequences socialized.

A train wreck in waiting, whether by pandemic, earthquake, recession. Whole region made vulnerable to sudden large shifts in demand side, esp as quality of life was irretrievably hurt.

With Covid, suddenly rich people left SF. Companies did what was always in their power, let people work remotely.

People left for a BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE they could afford.

It caused vacancies/small reductions in housing costs NOT affordability, but now, consequences of densification/urbanization remained with reduced tax base to cope.

We cannot afford to remain on autopilot like this.

This: bandaid for wounds Google and others unwittingly inflicted. We can/should protect quality of life and think how the region can remain decent place to live for a diversity of people, incl those who don’t make google tech $$.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 26, 2022 at 7:02 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Yup. Citizen's exactly right. Big tech is pushing up housing prices wherever they go, displacing lots of people and ruining existing neighborhoods. It's a national issue. Check out the percentage price increases across the country.

Remember that of all the homes slated to be built only 15% of them are required to be "affordable" and very few of that 15% is for "low" and "veru low" income.

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 26, 2022 at 8:05 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Which non profits? Do tell. I am a non profit. Can Google give me a $million dollars? Or at least provide me a good, quality, BMR home to rent?

Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 27, 2022 at 7:10 am

JR is a registered user.

Google is not interested in affordable housing for residents and families. They are spending $1 billion to make sure that their future tech bros have a place to live so that they can take the G-Bus to their G-Office and eat G-Lunch and G-Dinner getting G-Haircuts without interacting with one member of the real community. The 20-23 year olds making $12K per month are disgusted by your 70s apartment complex but bulldozing it and building a high rise would house hundreds of tech bros. It's a $1 billion gentrification project basically, and you are the target.

Posted by JB
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 27, 2022 at 9:14 pm

JB is a registered user.

Does Mountain View actually have enough available land to accommodate 13,000 housing units?

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 2, 2022 at 9:07 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

So why does not Google partner w Sabroto and City for all income level housing at former Fry’s site? inclusionary housing, yes. H1-B workers is a HUGE concern. Please ensure inclusion of ALL income levels. So the city, Sobrato, Google team team up w %15 set set aside for work for wages force — you know those who clean up the offices, your homes, rear your children etc. is this such a bad idea??

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Backhaus in Burlingame finally opens for the holiday rush
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,816 views

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 11 comments | 2,596 views

Fun Things to Do Around the Bay This Holiday – Peninsula Edition
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,414 views

Banning the public from PA City Hall
By Diana Diamond | 25 comments | 1,946 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,078 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.