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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

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.

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