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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Apple announced Monday that it is allocating $400 million toward affordable housing and homeowner assistance programs in California this year, as part of the $2.5 billion commitment announced in November.

Why it matters: The housing crisis has worsened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing states and cities to pause spending on affordable housing projects.

The backdrop: Big Tech's wealth has been blamed by some for driving up housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area and making it unaffordable for teachers, firefighters and other workers who support the region.

  • Apple, along with Facebook, Google and Microsoft, committed a collective $5 billion to support affordable housing initiatives, but it ran into the reality that money alone can't solve the problem without changes to zoning and financing restrictions.

Details: One project is financed with Housing Trust Silicon Valley to create 250 units of affordable housing in the Bay Area. Another will provide mortgage and down payment assistance.

  • In conjunction with the California Housing Finance Agency, Apple says it will launch an "affordable housing investment support program" to increase funding available for low- to moderate-income housing.
  • Apple also says it's supporting the construction of units with Destination: Home, which helps vulnerable individuals.

Go deeper: Big Tech spends billions to help housing crisis

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 8, 2020 - Technology

Microsoft app store playbook swipes at Apple, Google

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In a not-so-subtle dig at Apple and Google, Microsoft today announced a series of "principles" for its Windows 10 App Store — including letting users choose their own payment system for in-app purchases — that it says should serve as a model for other app stores.

Why it matters: The move comes as antitrust regulators in the U.S. and around the world are spotlighting how both Apple and Google manage their mobile platforms and as some developers charge them with running their app stores unfairly.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
7 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

8 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.