Airbnb Pledges $25M to Support Affordable Housing, Small Business in L.A. County and Bay Area

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A picture shows the logo of online lodging service Airbnb displayed on a computer screen in the company's offices in Paris on April 21, 2015. (Credit: Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images)

A picture shows the logo of online lodging service Airbnb displayed on a computer screen in the company’s offices in Paris on April 21, 2015. (Credit: Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images)

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Home rental company Airbnb says it will invest $25 million toward affordable housing and other community needs, the latest plan by tech firms to ease a housing crisis they’ve been criticized for contributing to.

Airbnb said the money would be split between Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area, the state’s largest urban centers, where residents are grappling with sky-high housing costs and a surge in homelessness. In addition to the preservation or creation of below-market rental housing, Airbnb said it would direct funding toward promoting homeownership for low- to moderate-income households, financing “meaningful infrastructure initiatives” through municipal bonds and supporting small businesses through loans.

“These investments have the potential to generate solid returns for our company and make communities stronger,” Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has called on tech companies to support affordable housing, said in a statement Airbnb’s investment was “a critical first step on behalf of their community, and we need more businesses to follow their lead.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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