Big Tech Makes Bold Moves into Housing Market

What are we to make of recent decisions by tech giants to move into the housing business? Tech CEOs argue ideals, pragmatists point to a business’s self-interest in its community, and activists say it’s a cynical move amid a run of bad press for the industry. Whatever the motives, such bold moves are filling a vacuum left by dysfunctional government. I’m talking about the $500 million committed by Bay Area philanthropists to the Partnership for the Bay’s Future to address the soaring price of housing in the region. Facebook has contributed, as have Morgan Stanley, Kaiser Permanente, Genentech, the Ford Foundation, and the family charities of the two founders of Hewlett-Packard. Then there’s the $500 million pledged by Microsoft to help address the housing problem in the Seattle area. And Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff and Salesforce have donated $11 million to help San Francisco’s homeless. Watch for more tech companies to address housing in their communities—tt’s just good business.

John Howell, Editorial Director