Social media company Facebook has announced plans to develop 1500 apartments as part of a “social housing” project in Silicon Valley.
The Guardian reports that in an attempt to address the growing housing crisis in Silicon Valley — which Facebook has been accused of contributing to — the social media company has announced plans to develop their own Facebook village of sorts. Facebook will reportedly develop a “mixed-use village” called Willow Campus in Menlo Park, just 30 miles south of San Francisco.
John Tenanes, Facebook’s vice-president for global facilities, made a statement after submitting plans to Menlo Park officials, saying, “Our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much-needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space.” He continued, “Part of our vision is to create a neighbourhood centre that provides long-needed community services. The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay.”
Housing and rent prices have become an issue in Silicon Valley due to the rapid growth of tech companies in the area. Over 640,000 jobs have been created in the San Francisco Bay area since 2010, but housing supply has failed to keep up with this new level of demand. Facebook’s new development has been welcomed by the mayor or Menlo Park, Kirsten Keith, who tweeted, “Peninsula cities have a #HousingCrisis. I hope more tech companies come forward with #affordablehousing proposals as @facebook has done.”
— Mayor Kirsten Keith (@KirstenKeithEsq) July 8, 2017
However, the new Facebook homes will still be quite pricey, with only 15 percent of them being offered at below market rates. The apartments will be available to Facebook employees and are estimated to be completed sometime in 2021.
Facebook Vice-President for Global Facilities John Tenanes stated that Facebook’s new housing initiative was “only the beginning.”
“Going forward we plan to continue to work closely with local leaders and community members to ensure Facebook’s presence is a benefit to the community,” he said. “It’s one we’re lucky to call home.”
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