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Can Big Tech Curb A Housing Crisis It Helped Cause?

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Affordable housing has become a crisis on the West Coast, due in large part to the expansion of the tech industry. Cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle have all seen rising housing costs with the influx of tech workers who tend to make much more money than natives who aren’t employed by a major tech company. This has prompted Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google to chip in, but some community members are saying it’s too little, too late. Affordable housing has become a crisis on the West Coast, due in large part to the expansion of the tech industry. Recently, these major tech companies have pledged money and support to curb the affordable housing crisis in their communities, but it has left some community members wondering if they're doing enough, and if it's too little, too late. "We're being ignored." Liz González, a contributor at Silicon Valley De-Bug, voiced her concerns about the expansion of Google into San José. "We're being displaced, and folks who have no long term interests in this community get to decide what it looks like and who gets to live here." The Bay Area, which includes major cities like San Francisco and San Jose, has the third largest population of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. behind New York City and Los Angeles. Seattle comes in at number four in the U.S. In the Bay Area, 64% of those individuals are unsheltered, and in Seattle, 47% are unsheltered. The growing number of tech workers created a housing shortage in the Bay Area, with an 8.4% increase in population and less than a 5% increase in housing units between 2010 and 2018. The increasing salaries of these tech workers created staggering housing prices, with software engineers making a starting salary of about $160,000 annually at Apple, Google and Facebook, 40% more than the national average for the same job. Rent prices in the Bay Area increased 21% from 2010 to 2017 when adjusted for inflation. For context, in the same time period, rent prices in New York City increased 9%. These were major contributing factors to the Bay Area's housing crisis. "They're making it very difficult for people who's been here for a very long time to live here," explained Tamara Mitchell, a volunteer at the Coalition On Homelessness in San Francisco. Tamara has experienced homelessness due to the lack of affordable housing in the area. "It kind of feels like they're pushing you out of your home." For U.S.-based tech-related jobs in 2018, Google employed 95% white or Asian individuals and 74% male-identified individuals, Apple employed 84% white or Asian individuals and 77% male-identified individuals, and Facebook employed 93% white or Asian individuals and 78% male-identified individuals. A high percent of these tech employees live and work in the Bay Area. However, according to estimated data from the Census Bureau in 2018, the Bay Area is home to 67% white or Asian individuals. Tech companies are disproportionately hiring white and Asian male-identified individuals for tech jobs, leaving lower-wage jobs for mostly black, Hispanic and Latinx individuals. Google has pledged $1 billion to help stop the housing crisis. Facebook helped create the Partnership for the Bay's Future which will gather $500 million for the cause. Apple is giving $2.5 billion to the cause, and in Seattle, Microsoft is chipping in $500 million, while neighbors Amazon have opened a homeless shelter on their downtown campus. Amazon also says it's contributed $38 billion into Seattle's economy since 2010. The affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area and Seattle is changing the landscape and makeup of the communities that fostered the tech boom. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon have stepped up to provide support, but some believe their contributions are more for the press than for the sake of the community. Regardless of their intentions, many West Coast communities are calling out for help as they tackle this state of emergency caused by companies created in their own backyards. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC Can Big Tech Curb A Housing Crisis It Helped Cause?
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Text Comments (2092)
Majd (2 hours ago)
2 words; Zoning Laws
Kadeem Johnson (4 hours ago)
You can live in SF with just a Normal income if you stop drinking and wasting money
Jona Olivera (1 day ago)
And then there's the racist graphic Wtf is the world come to.
Constance Lequesne (1 day ago)
I’m curious about the “do you know how many times I’ve lost everything I had and had to build myself back up to find circumstances where I’m homeless again” comment. Unless it’s a mental health or addition or combo issue, that needs a bit more clarity. It’s not silicon valleys fault you keep ending up homeless and “losing everything” over and over again. Where the personal responsibility?
Max Gaines (2 days ago)
How about another Homestead Act, but more localized. Government through private / public partnership can buy land and homes, develop or redevelop through private contractors and sell at a loss at well below market rates. Developers could utilize pre fabrications and 3D printing technology to keep cost low but quality high. Incentives could be setup to encourage affordable loans with (reality) low and manageable interest rates geared towards folks who make less than, let's say, 60K a year. Thoughts?
Daze Sea (2 days ago)
10:34 Tell them to identify as female instead, problem solved.
D90Girl (2 days ago)
It's by design.
Isaac Duarte (3 days ago)
Just like every thing in life it’s a cycle them jobs that pay 6 figures will sooner or later pay a whole lot less
whtchocla7e (3 days ago)
Stop blaming the tech workers. The local governments are artificially restricting growth. You have demonstrated your bias by using the term "Latinx", it's hard to take this type of journalism seriously
Russell Wiggins (4 days ago)
These companies aren't committed to the communities where they reside. They aren't even committed to their employees beyond what the law requires. If you died today, your job will be posted within 15 minutes of your passing and the beat goes on.
Andrew Gisler (2 days ago)
It's not the company failing the community, it's the local government failing. When an apartments building can't be built because local politicians are worried about shadows behind cast on a local playground it's nonsense to blame tech companies for housing shortages.
Thomas Gibson (4 days ago)
Black Onyx (5 days ago)
Cut off immigration. We’re getting too populated.
Dave Hooper (5 days ago)
The people that produced this and most of the people interviewed for it would all benefit from reading Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness by Any Rand... especially a chapter called The Devine Right of Stagnation.
Jimmy Livingston (5 days ago)
So according to CNBC Asian individuals are no longer POC to inflate the graph. Got it.
MotoAtheist (5 days ago)
If you're 30 and still working at an unskilled job for teenagers... you've made some bad decisions. If you're 30 and still paying rent... you've made some bad decisions. There is a reason behind buying a home that you will eventually own and appreciates in value versus paying rent non stop that only increases. If you can't afford to live where you are at... LEAVE!
Quang Lam (6 days ago)
These companies should placed their headquarters to a different states that’s a lot cheaper rent.
MotoAtheist (5 days ago)
@Quang Lam So you want the state to control who is allowed to come live there and who is allowed to build there? You should go live in North Korea, sounds like you'll love it there.
Quang Lam (5 days ago)
MotoAtheist no, they had brought people to Northern California where housing is extremely expensive and also drove up prices because they brought more people there. Most people they have hire are not from there.
Quang Lam (5 days ago)
@MotoAtheist you went off topic.
MotoAtheist (5 days ago)
@Quang Lam Supply and demand. Can you really expect a property owner to be happy with $500/month when he could charge $1,500 for the same dwelling. Would it be right for the state to control what these rental businesses charge?
Quang Lam (5 days ago)
@MotoAtheist a little but housing cost are way too high.
Mark Plain (7 days ago)
Wow what a contrast to Detroit. Why are so many people determined to sty in the Bay area if it means they have to live in RVs? In developing countries the poorer people are stuck because they are not welcome in neighbouring countries. In the USA you can move to other cities and states. As someone looking into the USA, I'm awestruck.
JL (7 days ago)
"People of color" is such a stupid term meant to exclude white people from the conservation. How are Asians not "people of color"? Is it because Asians are as successful as whites are and do not fit into the politically liberal agenda of victimhood?
TheNacropolice (8 days ago)
Congrats to the Asian race, welcome to joining the "you're responsible for all sins of the world" club! Said club was previously reserved only to white people
marco polo (8 days ago)
So if your not qualified for a job position it's it's the tech companies fault and their also racist?? 😂
rana chhong (10 days ago)
Andrew Yang folks!!! Lol well... these big tech company been getting away with these tax write off fr awhile... We need our slice of pie!!!
Jarrod (10 days ago)
10:16 This is so misleading. Nowhere does it mention the amount of QUALIFIED women and POC applying. Google probably hires 95% white/Asian because that's who's applying.
Jarrod (10 days ago)
Yes, tech companies created a shortage of housing in Silicon Valley. However it's on the local government and residents (NIMBY's) for not allowing developers to increase the supply.
Lazy Healthy Dude (10 days ago)
you say displaced i call it moving
Noes Naula (11 days ago)
Julius (11 days ago)
As usual, liberals show their racist, "democratic" side by not including Asians as "people of color." I just don't understand why Asian Americans vote more Republican with this bs double standards.
Chris & Tango #SaveTheBees (11 days ago)
Actually, lack of new development caused this
Heather Sutton (11 days ago)
I work at Apple . Where do you live ? In the shelter they built for homeless. 😂 lol
luvier21 (12 days ago)
Damn, thought that was Steve Kerr
Kaven Gilbert (12 days ago)
Its not a housing problem its a drug Problem, shows how stupid elected officials are 🤷🏻‍♂️
Agulka 85 (12 days ago)
How are "white" and "Asian" ethnicities put into the same category really beats me. Let's also throw in "Afroamerican" for a good measure and there will be no diversity at all.🤪
Carlos Villegas (12 days ago)
Most of this people that lived in tents are drug addicts, some are mentally I'll how do they gonna afford to pay a rent, this is not a high rents issue this is a government issue and they don't know how to handle it.
Bobby Shabangu (12 days ago)
How is Monaco solving the very same problem? Perhaps the bay area can learn a thing a two from that tiny nation.
Avi Gindratt (12 days ago)
All the coward conservatives in the comments refusing to admit they are the source of all the problems
Avi Gindratt (10 days ago)
@Lady Catfish stfu everything is rigged for conservative capitalists foh, even the democratic party. Y'all are TRASH Lmfaooo
Lady Catfish (11 days ago)
Yes, conservatives are the cause of a problem where the local government is dominated by Democrats/liberals. Yup. In a state where the majority rule goes to the D. Yup.
Curious People (12 days ago)
its not about skin color, the big company are hiring based on your ability to pass the coding interview, social intelligent , merit
Evantz Bernadin (12 days ago)
The question is why are WE us Human's paying to LIVE in a HOUSE?
Amon Ra (12 days ago)
учитесь у России. - упадешь в канаве никто не поднимет. а вы там паразитов ничего не делающих содержите. к стати никто в России в канавах не дохнет)) тут холодно и в палатках никто не живет. депортируйте в африку афроамериканцев.
teebone 21 (12 days ago)
Think about this you can build a new tech business that's very popular and your employees can have a starting salary of $200,000. You only have 2000 employees. Why does that mean every landlord or homeowner in the area needs to increase their housing prices and rent payments by 40%? There are still about a million of the people that need housing who don't make even half that
teebone 21 (12 days ago)
Last thing I remember is tech companies don't determine estate prices how about we worked on the greed of the homeowners? Prices go up because people are greedy
TMOS Monstrocity (13 days ago)
Just another example of corrupt government officials limiting resources to make money, I bet they are getting massive kick backs from real estate sales from the local areas.
Wes Smith (13 days ago)
Flyover country;)
oh dear god (13 days ago)
It's not disproportional if you consider the demographics of the areas, in fact white(Caucasians) are considered a minority to "people of color" in areas like the bay area so obviously that's a really catering statement 1:27
Dakota M (13 days ago)
Move away. I know it's hard but when these wealthy executives and employees don't have anyone giving them their coffee, picking up their garbage or fixing their cars I bet they'll try a whole lot harder to get the middle class back in the area and give them a living that they want. Nothing will change until we demand it and the easiest and most efficientway to demand it is to just stick your middle finger in the air and walk away.
TheBlueFox_ Rech (13 days ago)
Increase the budget for the IRS so it can go after wealth companies and individuals that hide assets.
TheBlueFox_ Rech (13 days ago)
TheDoltonboy (14 days ago)
I don’t see the problem here. If you already owned your home, sell it and retire someplace else. If the area is totally inhabited by the super wealthy then so be it
Jerry Lifsey (14 days ago)
Programmers could work remotely from anywhere... why live in SF or CA?
Lady Catfish (11 days ago)
Employers don't always trust remote work... They prefer employees being there, to ensure they are actually working, plus face to face meetings, discussions, etc. make work go faster. Having worked both remotely and in office in the past, I can't fault their logic. Assuming not too many meetings, working in the office gets more work done than remote..
T.U. Wild (14 days ago)
Man they just want get rid us 😔😔
darren stettner (14 days ago)
So move somewhere affordable.
Mehdi Datoo (15 days ago)
Yeah that’s because white and Asian people are naturally more innovative in terms of tech, and smarter overall. Hence the disproportionality.
Philipp Hafner (15 days ago)
Excuse me, have you ever heard about urban planning?
Akash Guha Thakurata (15 days ago)
If Asian population have worked hard to bag high paying jobs, despite coming from lower income families of immigrants, how's that racism?
Neal (15 days ago)
I feel financially forced in with minorities and it makes no sense. The leverage, the divisiveness and the inevitable loss of housing. There's always an excuse.
ImaniNile (16 days ago)
A 'vacant house tax' is a nice idea! But what happens when the owner just backs away from the property completely? Pay no tax, etc.? That responsibility will move to the finance/bank companies and/or the local government. Are those institutions prepared to act accordingly - to in effect 'repo' the property? Would the finance/bank companies and governments have to pay the 'vacant house tax' until the unit(s) is sold? In some cities were the local government fails to act on empty housing, this solution would not work. This story reflects the negative residue of an overly capitalistic society.
Nunya Bidness (16 days ago)
Eventually, the companies will wise up and leave. Then these people will blame them for that. Folks, if you can’t afford to buy, then move to where you can buy, or stop whining. There are towns all over the US that need people.
Nunya Bidness (12 days ago)
teebone 21 I’m saying if they wanted to stay, they should have put down roots and bought in. Many of the people who were owners have cashed out and moved because staying was not worth it. But you want to give some special status to people who never bought a home or apartment or even a mobile home? I’m sure there are are hard cases, but most are not. You can’t run a society where bad decisions get you better outcomes than good ones. No one will own homes or do the things it takes to earn one. They will all deteriorate while people poor mouth the government into providing. Next stop Venezuela. There is a REALLY easy solution, but the voters in Cali won’t grow up and accept it. I guess they will crash the whole country again before long.
teebone 21 (12 days ago)
So you seriously saying people need to uproot from where they were born and lived for over 20 to 40 years to a new town ecause Google moving to their town?
Christopher Edwards (16 days ago)
I'm gonna go burn down silicon valley
Sergey H. (17 days ago)
Failing Enviremental and Social Safeguards 101 in the wealthiest spots in the world. Is this a chronic lack of risk planning at all levels: businesses, local, state and federal governments? Is this a wake up call for the regulators?
jesse heise (17 days ago)
They want it all in the same place because it means they can actually get away with lower wages if they put google in a small town it would cost more money to pay people to move there
mixflip (17 days ago)
Greed. Rental properties dont have to demand such ridiculous rent prices. Its greed. On the flip side...if you cant afford an expensive city....move to an affordable one or get a tech degree and stay. Humans have been migrating the planet for better lives for centuries. I used to own a condo in the bay....I worked day and night just to pay for that condo and I hated it....so I left the bay....and couldn't be happier. I live under my means and have everything I need to support my family. That's what is important. Go where the work is. If there is no work for you in your town... move. It's simple really. My grandparents left the jungles of the Philippines in the 1930s....I wonder why? It sucked that's why.
Duffy Elmer (17 days ago)
Crazy how you talk about how tech jobs are going to majority men, but *didn't* mention how the homeless are also majority men. Why not?
Frank Brock (18 days ago)
The homeless are lazy, they should move out of state. Lots of cheap & vacant homes In Detroit
seven henson (18 days ago)
Y not just move out to other cities if u r not making a living in tech?
Higauge (18 days ago)
tech makes it possible to work anywhere. The companies should move but I believe the problems are the government and all the regulations.
suffolk6311 (18 days ago)
Stop immigration. Immigration and the anchor babies are costing america.
ncrdisabled Submarine vet (18 days ago)
all they want to do is dump the folks on the side of the road.
Bamby Salcedo (19 days ago)
we need to continue to organize to ensure our communities are safe and have decent housing units
Curtis Sullivan (19 days ago)
The government from state to federal governments Need to control the housing and rent costs we are all people and we all need a place to live I live I Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada and here the oil and potash drove the cost of rent and houses out of control now the economy is on the down turn and people here are living on credit cards the good times only last so long
Windy Hawthorn (20 days ago)
This is why I don't live in California. I would rather be paid less and still have a roof over my head and food to eat and be able to pay my bills. My mom always said it doesn't matter if you get paid a lot if you can't afford the cost of living find the balance don't play around and get stuck.
J (20 days ago)
Its freemarket Pootinism. Before you know it the tech industry will start building commie complexes sorry I mean apartments.
Merle Patterson (20 days ago)
"Can Big Tech Curb A Housing Crisis It Helped Cause?" - Hey, CNBC, you titled this video incorrectly. The proper title is: "Will Big Tech End A Housing Crisis It Specifically Created?"
Zombie Power Drink (20 days ago)
The Government caused this with ridiculous regulations
Billy Gundum (21 days ago)
Fight Club.
George Thompson (22 days ago)
Why not move somewhere more affordable?
Proud Gay Californian Registered Democrat (21 days ago)
No such place exists anymore. The entire country has become unaffordable. Blame rich Chinese and white boomer landlords.
whoo else (22 days ago)
And some ppl on here spewing the same bs talking about democrat this & liberal that, as if the reupubs are any better. Why do you think most of the people homeless are black? Because in a wyt supremacist society, it doesnt matter who's liberal or conservative. When it comes to black folks, both wings of wyt supremacy are on the same page.
dark tnt (23 days ago)
MMO Archives (25 days ago)
you wish cnbc, it's the local government that are corrupt taking foreign money to buy up real estate then leases the real estate at inflated prices, here's how to make housing in cali affordable, not selling real estate to the chinese and saudis that pits our culture against us as a weapon of war
xFecto (25 days ago)
Nobody is talking about the places they listed are all democrat. A state like Texas is booming but low on homelessness. AUSTIN is the only city that has a high rate of homeless but AUSTIN is the only blue city in Texas. Hmmm maybe there is a connection.
whoo else (22 days ago)
And what does that supposed to mean? Dem or repub, they're both full of dog sh!t.
Anthony Kence (26 days ago)
Us blacks people are always in trouble
whoo else (22 days ago)
I say all the time, it dont matter if they're dems or repubs. As far as black folks are concerned, they're all on the same page of marginalizing us.
James Walker (27 days ago)
People are talking about the increased demand in the housing market, but no one wants to talk about why no new housing is being built. Answer: the government. They effectively ban new housing and high-rises. But sure, blame the tech companies.
It's Binh Repaired (27 days ago)
I have a solution. Electric cars with heated insulated parking garages that have public bathrooms, showers, kitchens, etc. Your car is your house/room.
Traveling Sunchine (28 days ago)
Economic growth benefiting a few is not economic growth.
Nor Will (28 days ago)
Not enough housing in Cali? Move those tech companies to S.Washington, I welcome the gentrification. I want to see my home value go up. Bring it!
Tyler Kegger (29 days ago)
I’d rather be in jail then be homeless in California
Roshill K (29 days ago)
There is soo much damn space in America. Move to a smaller town. Texas has alot of houses with alotta space. It's a 100x better than staying on the streets.
mistaPARADOX (27 days ago)
Move to Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin...any state that nobody talks about and build there, were already gettin crowded here
Roshill K (29 days ago)
And to the tech company move to different cities. Why do all of them have to be in one place.
Bobby Chang (29 days ago)
High tech causes good jobs...
tyrone b (29 days ago)
From what i seen or notice, areas of the state have pushed peole to move where it cheapest overall till rent goes up or cost to keep a house goes up and then it push u to move out of state cause cost to live in Cali is way too much now. i mean cheap areas only stay that way till the surrounding areas cause places to raise rent to make it a level playing field and all land owners are happy not missing out on the big bag of money if can raise rent while renters are still around or do when anyone move out to cheaper areas and lets managers raise cause any changes they make to a place and make the money back by rent that is paid to stay in the place. lived in cali since was kid and now over time noticed it has pushed out family or friends cause cost to live here is just too much now.
Karma (1 month ago)
I don't use Facebook. I won't buy Apple nor Microsoft. Boycott it the only way to make them pay their fair share. I pay 35%+ of my income in taxes yet these Assholes pay ZERO!
Karma (1 month ago)
Amazon has "created" 28 billion into the economy. NOTICE HOW THEY DIDN'T MENTION HOW MUCH THEY PAY IN TAXES? IT BECAUSE THEY DON'T.
KING KONG (1 month ago)
That's why everyone should vote for ANDREW YANG
PXWang Eddie (2 days ago)
No he is just a typical White liberal (even though he is Asian)
JL (7 days ago)
Americans are too stupid unfortunately to realize when someone is trying to help them.
Reine Ackermann (1 month ago)
Simple: Increase taxes on empty land to drive development, set higher taxes on second homes, even higher taxes on third and fourth homes - use this to subsidize rates/taxes on primary residences.
fridge666 (1 month ago)
I think more agricultural land should be given to housing development and agriculture should be relocated to alaska. This is simple yet effective solution. *sarcasm.
Jackamomo (1 month ago)
Here in the uk, when all housing was mixed in terms of rent (socio-economic bracket), everyone was happier overall and the whole country was more safe. Anyone who is homeless should be homed as soon as possible as a national priority for a wide range of reasons.
e v (1 month ago)
Got the same problem in Ohio oddly enough. I can't afford to live in my hometown due to a single large employer driving the cost of living up.
。好吃的蟹腰 (1 month ago)
That means Democrats's Socialist doesn't work at all.
Babysisdolls333 (1 month ago)
I live on east coast at 57 i have no choice but to buy a house..when i retire i will be on a fixed income..so no choice.
Calan Reichel (1 month ago)
Calan Reichel (1 month ago)
Renee Reese (1 month ago)
A leach drains resources from its host. This is what we are dealing with and tech companies should be dealt with accordingly!
Ibrahim Saleh (1 month ago)
Your corrupt system needs a God's created law that is fair to people and distributes justice between people of the time and people to come (future generations) In Islamic Law or known as Sharea'a Law there is an "Ihya" law that distributes land wealth horizontally and vertically! Ihya means make something alive and the main rule is that land types are three types a living land, a dead land, and a taboo land. A living land is a land that has been brought to live by any type of building, farm, orchard, manufacturer, etc. A dead land is a land that isn't taboo neither alive. A taboo land usually a public purposed land whether a street, Masjid, playground, etc. The main rule is that who ever made a dead land alive owns it. Complimentary rule, a dead land and a taboo land cannot be sold and they are public property and they can't be sold just like air. Another rule, who ever comes first has the right of damage, the right of damage means that if build a house and someone builds a workshop next to you and cause you a damage in noise you have the right to make him go and find somewhere else or manage to not make a noise and you can measure on that rule many similar. You can't just build a wall around a land and call it yours unless you make it alive before someone else claims it and once you put a wall you have a 3 years to make it alive or people can make it alive. Islamic law is all about wealth distribution and that's why money giants make a media war against it because it is against their greedy nature. Islamic law destroys capitalism, please tell me if I give you land and access to earth treasures (oil, metals, etc) would you still work for someone to make him big or rather you would work in your own land or whatever you have access to if you can drill an oil well you might not work for oil giant instead you'll raise some money with family and friends and make a small oil well and list goes on. Further to mentions, any money you get from earth treasures the community gets a fifth of that 20 percent that money goes to the poor and other community needy people, you don't have to hand that money to any government type agency you can go straight to people and give it to them.
ZenBrane (1 month ago)
California housing stock has been kept artificially low by government regulations that benefits those lucky enough to own property. Look up "Prop 13". It's evil.
Kancer5 (1 month ago)
This is happening in Denver as well... Especially with Google building it's campus in Boulder.