Google has announced generous investments of more than $1 billion to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sunnyvale and San Jose in California.

Google’s headquarters is located at Mountain View, a city in Santa Clara County. San Jose, the capital of Santa Clara County, is the the most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Google committed an additional $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area because it wants to develop housing that meets the needs of the communities where it operates. It said it will repurpose at least $750 million of Google’s land as residential housing over the next 10 years. Most of this land is currently zoned for office or commercial space.

The company said this investment will allow it to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area. These include housing options for middle and low-income families. This total is considerable given that only 3,000 homes were built in the South Bay in 2018.

"We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post.

In addition, Google will establish a $250 million investment fund so it can provide incentives that will allow developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units. Google also said it will give $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement.

This is in addition to the $18 million in grants from Google to help address homelessness over the last five years. This total includes $3 million Google gave to the newly opened SF Navigation Center and $1.5 million to affordable housing for low income veterans and households in Mountain View.

In the coming months, Google said it will continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically.

"Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years," according to Pichai.

"“In Mountain View, we’ve already worked with the city to change zoning in the North Bayshore area to free up land for housing, and we’re currently in productive conversations with Sunnyvale and San Jose."

In November 2018, San Francisco passed Proposition C, an amendment that imposes a new tax ranging from 0.175 to 0.69 percent on businesses in the city with over $50 million in gross receipts to fund housing and homelessness services. The tax on big businesses is expected to bring in from $250 million and $300 million annually.