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Bernie Sanders accuses Apple of starting California housing crisis

November 9, 2019

By Brock Keeling : curbed – excerpt

But the senator fails to call out cities not doing their part

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator and 2020 presidential candidate, tried to take a bite out of Apple after the Cupertino-based company announced plans to invest $2.5 billion toward housing relief in California.

The self-described Democratic socialist criticized the company for not paying enough taxes. He also claimed that Apple won’t fix the worsening housing crisis, but instead will merely add to its real estate portfolio.

In a statement, Sanders said: “Apple’s announcement that it is entering the real estate lending business is an effort to distract from the fact that it has helped create California’s housing crisis—all while raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, and keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore, in order to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.”…(more)

The tech titans and unicorns are not only in the lending business they are heavily invested in purchasing real estate around the Bay Area. Their appetite for land helped drive values up and gave them a hedge against business losses. Some of the startups rely on real estate holdings to pay investors regardless of whether or not their great idea works. Sanders figured out they are major players. His word will carry weight and maybe spur some action among local politicians.

As far as blaming the suburbs for San Francisco’s housing crisis, I will quote a reader who said San Francisco “remains the Bay Area’s worst offender in exacerbating the regional housing crisis even now.” He is right of course because they are building the excessive office space that is causing the problem for the region. Some hope to cap the office space until the affordable housing issue is resolved. Voters should get to weigh in on their priorities soon. Stay tuned for the March elections.

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