Google Establishes $86M Low-Income Housing Fund through U.S. Bank Subsidiary

Mountain View, Calif.--Search engine giant Google has found a new vehicle for giving back to the community.

Mountain View, Calif.–Search engine giant Google has found a new vehicle for giving back to the community. Working with U.S. Bank subsidiary U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. (USBCDC), the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has launched an $86 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) fund to finance the development and operation of seven affordable housing communities for low-income families and senior citizens in California and the Midwest.

“In recent years, there has been a void in affordable housing investment,” Brent Callinicos, Google vice president and treasurer, noted in a prepared statement. “Our investment with USBCDC allows us to further our goal of providing relief to people who otherwise may not have access to quality housing.” According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach 2010 report, there are just 6.1 million affordable housing units to accommodate the country’s population of 9.2 million renter households earning 30 percent or less of their area median family income.

The LIHTC fund will create an aggregate 480 affordable housing units via new projects in Waukegan, Ill.; Apple Valley, Minn.; Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wis. and in the California cities of Fontana, Palm Springs and Salinas. Experienced LIHTC property developers will build the rental communities, with USBCDC overseeing the process and taking on leasing responsibilities.

“What’s significant is Google doesn’t stay in its headquarters state to finance affordable housing,” Lisa Clark, assistant vice president of media relations with U.S. Bank, tells MHN. “They are going outside of California and financing projects in the Midwest. And not only have they invested in affordable housing, they’ve invested in wind farms, too. Google is taking on a lot of socially responsible issues.”

The USBCDC-managed fund is not Google’s first LIHTC investment endeavor. In March, the company contributed $25 million through a fund with a community development entity of Union Bank for the construction of Fair Oaks Plaza in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Regency Towers Senior Housing in Los Angeles County.

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