Facebook revealed last Friday plans to build 1,500 new homes in a “neighbourhood center”.

11,600 square meters of retail space including a pharmacy, shops, homes and a public plaza will become known as ‘Willow Campus’.

The submission of plans come as a response to the housing crisis in Silicon Valley, where the growth of technology companies has contributed to soaring rent costs in the San Francisco Bay area.Facebook to build ‘social housing’

While the plans are to help those struggling with rising rent prices, Facebook’s plans only allocate 15% of the new housing to below market rates.

The “mixed-use village” will be constructed on the former Menlo Science and Technology Park in Menlo Park, a city at eastern edge of San Mateo County.

The Guardian reported that 640,000 new jobs have been created in San Francisco Bay area as a result of technology companies.

Over 9,000 people work at Facebook’s Menlo Park offices, and with plans for a larger office campus, this figure is expected to continue to grow.

The rising number of staff at the tech giant has had a knock on effect on other areas of employment, with ‘key workers’ being forced to commute miles each day, according to the Guardian.

John Tenanes, Facebook’s vice-president for global facilities, said in a blog post: “Our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much-needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space”.

Tenanes added: “Part of our vision is to create a neighbourhood centre that provides long-needed community services. The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay.”

Tenanes reported that construction expected to begin in 2021.

What do you think of Facebook’s ‘social housing’ idea? A step in the right direction, or too little too late? Leave your comment in the section below or get in touch with us over on Twitter or Facebook!

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