The soaring home prices in the Bay Area have caught the attention of many companies, and several have set out to do something about it. Whether that means launching a platform like ZeroDown did, helping people buy a house in San Francisco with no down payment, or making a business out of quickly delivered “backyard homes,” like Abodu does, affordability is far more than a buzzword around the bay. 

Then there are players like Google, who directly invest capital – $50 million in Google’s case – to combat the housing crisis.

Now, Airbnb is joining the ranks of companies that are putting their money into affordable housing efforts in their communities, including JBG Smith, Prudential Financial, and Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier this week, Airbnb, the short-term rental platform, announced a new community impact investing program that will invest $25 million in projects supporting affordable homeownership, small businesses and the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County. 

“I want Airbnb to be a 21st Century Company that serves all our stakeholders, including the communities our hosts and guests call home,” said Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky. “Inspired by Governor Newsom’s leadership, we took a look at how we could potentially deploy our resources to support the development of more affordable housing. This is just a modest first step, but we are excited to launch this pilot program, learn more, and build on this work in the years ahead.”

The announcement was made at the 2019 Philanthropy Innovation Summit at Stanford University during a panel discussion that included California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“When it comes to confronting our state’s housing crisis, it’s all hands on deck,” Newsom said during the panel. “Government, businesses, and philanthropy must work in partnership to tackle the number one cost-of-living challenge for families up and down our state. I applaud Airbnb’s $25 million investment in affordable housing for the Bay Area and Los Angeles. It is a critical first step on behalf of their community, and we need more businesses to follow their lead.”

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