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

The pandemic real estate market

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's not just emotional buying, real estate agents say: There are smart and strategic reasons that Americans of all ages, races and incomes are moving away from urban centers.

Why it matters: Bidding wars, frantic plays for a big suburban house with a pool, buying a property sight unseen — they're all part of Americans' calculus that our lives and lifestyles have been permanently changed by coronavirus and that we'll need more space (indoors and out) for the long term.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.