Earthquakes, wildfires, rage-inducing traffic jams, tech bros, and an increasingly out-of-reach cost of living haven’t deterred people from wanting to live in the Bay Area. The problem is there are more people than places to put them all. Enter the world’s biggest tech companies (who realize they helped cause the problem and that their future growth depends in part on fixing it). In the past few months, Apple, Facebook and Google have pledged $4.5 billion to help solve the Bay Area’s increasingly bad housing crunch. The money is a good first step, and $4.5 billion can still get you a cozy San Francisco pied-à-terre as long as parking isn’t a must-have. But as the NYT’s Conor Dougherty explains, the money alone might not be enough. “The companies’ announcements were accompanied by crucial yet mostly unanswered questions like where, how and when this money will be spent. And … the biggest question is the one California has long wrestled with: how to get much-needed housing built when local governments and homeowners do everything they can to prevent it.”

+ CityLab: “Some housing experts and advocates say that the largest barrier to housing is not money, but political will.”

+ “While decades in the making, California’s slow-moving disaster has reached a critical point for state officials, businesses and the millions who are straining to live there.” Bloomberg: How California Became America’s Housing Market Nightmare.

+ “Their concentrated wealth provides a window into how tech and real estate companies — and the university, Stanford — have shaped the valley into an economic powerhouse but also helped create the housing crisis now threatening Silicon Valley’s money-making engine, straining its middle class and displacing people who have lived here their whole lives.” As per usual, Reveal dug up the data to put things into perspective. Who owns Silicon Valley?