Zillow Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: Z and ZG), recently announced a pledge of $5 million in cash and in-kind contributions over the next five years to address housing insecurity as part of the company's first social impact program, The Home Project.
Across the country, housing costs have not kept up with incomes, leaving many people just one medical bill, job loss, or rental increase away from losing their homes. For example, Zillow's research shows that in the Los Angeles metro, a five percent increase in rent would translate to an additional 2,000 people falling into homelessness. In New York, more than 3,000 people would experience homelessness if rents increase five percent. In Seattle, that increase would add 258 people to the homeless population for a total of 12,498.
As a technology-driven company that helps people find homes and apartments, Zillow® Group is uniquely positioned to help. Through The Home Project, the company will mobilize its people, platform and products to help combat housing insecurity, as well as partner with non-profit organizations whose missions align with The Home Project goals.
"At Zillow Group, our mission every day is to help millions of Americans find the place they call home, and we are uniquely positioned to understand the challenges some face and impact their housing outcomes," said Amy Bohutinsky, COO of Zillow Group. "Focusing on housing security is a natural extension of our work, and we will tackle it with all the resources we have to offer -- shining a light on information through economic research, mobilizing our employees, contributing to organizations, and building products and features across our real estate and rental brands. We believe everyone deserves a home where they can thrive, regardless of their economic circumstances."
"New York's working poor know firsthand that housing costs continue to climb, while many incomes stay stubbornly flat," said Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Win, formerly Women in Need, the largest provider of shelter and services for homeless women and their children in New York City. "More than 51 percent of our mothers are working, many with multiple jobs, yet they are not able to afford a place of their own in this city. Thousands of New Yorkers are a missed paycheck away from finding themselves homeless. Zillow Group's The Home Project is living proof that the private and nonprofit sector can come together and find real solutions for the affordability and income inequality crisis running rampant in New York and cities across the country."
The Home Project has several pillars to help combat housing insecurity in a number of ways:
To encourage the continued development of products that help people find secure housing, in 2017 Zillow Group introduced an employee cash prize for those who create such products as part of Hack Weeks and Innovation Weeks.
SOURCE Zillow Group