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Tim Cook attends the global premiere of the Apple TV series "The Morning Show" in New York last week. Photo: Roy Rochlin/WireImage

Apple CEO Tim Cook, unveiling a $2.5 billion plan to help alleviate California's housing availability and affordability crisis, told Axios in an interview that Apple feels "a profound responsibility" to the region where it was born and thrived.

  • "It’s just unsustainable," Cook said. "This problem is so big that the public sector cannot do it alone."

Why it matters: Many teachers and emergency workers can't afford to live in the Bay Area communities they serve. "Super-commutes" of 90 minutes or more, often from distant counties, have become a grim regional phenomenon.

The big picture: The tech giants are trying to be better neighbors. Facebook announced last month that it would invest $1 billion to help alleviate California's housing crisis. Google announced a $1 billion plan in June.

Between the lines: Cook told Axios that Apple is making this move now in part because Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is the right partner.

  • Newsom said in an Apple release: "This unparalleled financial commitment [is] proof that Apple is serious about solving this issue. I hope other companies follow their lead."

Here's the breakdown of Apple’s commitment to the state of California:

  • $1 billion affordable housing investment fund, "a first-of-its-kind affordable housing fund that will provide the state and others with an open line of credit to develop and build additional new, very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost."
  • $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund: "will provide aspiring homebuyers with financing and down payment assistance. Apple and the state will explore strategies to increase access to first-time homeownership opportunities for essential service personnel, school employees and veterans."
  • $300 million worth of Apple-owned land in San Jose will be made available for development of new affordable housing.
  • $150 million Bay Area housing fund, a public-private partnership "with partners including Housing Trust Silicon Valley, to support new affordable housing projects. The fund will consist of long-term forgivable loans and grants."
  • $50 million to support vulnerable populations, through a donation to support Destination: Home’s efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley.

Go deeper: California's land-use rules worsen housing crunch

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Go deeper

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.

McCarthy: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy" of Biden's win

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked Wednesday whether he was concerned about elevating Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to GOP leadership after she has promoted baseless claims about the election. He responded: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election."

Why it matters: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was ousted as House GOP conference chair earlier Wednesday — in a vote that McCarthy supported — over her continued criticisms of former President Trump and his lies about election fraud.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Gaza crisis: Casualties pile up with no signs of ceasefire from Israel, Hamas

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip leave their neighborhood on Wednesday following an explosion. Photo: li Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is dispatching a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts.

The latest: The Israeli air force attacked a meeting of senior Hamas military leaders on Wednesday in Gaza and reported it had killed the Gaza City Brigade commander and the heads of Hamas’ cyber arm and weapons research and development department, along with at least three other senior officials.