Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sharply criticized Apple's $2.5 billion investment Monday to combat California's housing crisis, saying that it is "throwing pennies" towards the problem. He also slammed Apple's small housing loan program as a "distraction."

"Apple's announcement that it is entering the real estate business is an effort to distract from the fact that it has helped create California's housing crisis – all while raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, and keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore, in order to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes," said Sanders in a statement.

Apple and other Silicon Valley companies have caused housing prices to soar in the San Francisco Bay area.

Apple said that the $2.5 billion investment would include a $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, providing financing and down payment assistance to Californians. It would also open up $300 million of Apple-owned land for affordable housing near the city of San Jose. Additionally, It would offer a $150 million Bay Area housing fund, which would offer forgivable loans and grants to prospective homebuyers in the San Francisco metropolitan area.

Although Sanders has criticized Apple for the initiative, California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised the tech giant for the investment in his state.

“This unparalleled financial commitment to affordable housing, and the innovative strategies at the heart of this initiative, are proof that Apple is serious about solving this issue. I hope other companies follow their lead,” Newsom said.

In 2018, the median price of a home in California was well over half a million dollars, with more than 20% of Californians paying over half of their income on housing.

Sanders, a top candidate for the Democratic nomination, has frequently criticized big tech companies like Apple for their influence over the U.S. economy. He has said that the government "should definitely take a look at" whether Apple, Google and Amazon should be broken up.