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Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

As a housing shortage afflicts portions of California, Facebook plans to spend $1 billion to build up to 20,000 new, affordable housing units, the Silicon Valley-based social media giant announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Facebook is the third tech company to make a financial commitment to help fix the housing crisis. The problem is at least in part attributed to the growth of the technology industry and the resulting influx of workers. Google, too, made a $1 billion Bay Area pledge in June, and Microsoft put $500 million toward building affordable housing in Seattle in January.

Details: $250 million of Facebook's gift will go toward "mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land in communities where housing is scarce," according to Facebook. Other funding will target the San Fransisco Bay Area, Menlo Park, and San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

  • Reality check: The state of California has a shortage of more than 1 million affordable rental units, and funding to fill in the gap is behind what's required, the New York Times reports.

Go deeper

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

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