Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is offering $10,000 to workers who work in the headquarters so that they can move closer to the headquarters; this is to solve the traffic crisis that is a norm in Francisco Bay. Many workers with major tech companies in Silicon Valley face the challenge of traffic congestion as they head for work.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been offering this payment for the past 12 months. To be given the money, the worker must rent or buy a home within a 10-mile radius of Facebook’s headquarters. Facebook headquarters are along One Hacker Way, 30 miles south of San Francisco. Some of the workers who have families qualify for up to $15,000 or more to cater for the cost of housing.
This offer sounds attractive. However, before concluding that the deal is good, consider the price of housing in Menlo Park, the location of Facebook. In this locality, the cost of houses averages at $1.95 million. The average cost of a rental house is $3,600 per month. There was a time, not long ago, Facebook employees living near the office (located in Palo Alto at that time) claimed that their house allowance was a few hundred dollars.
Other Silicon Valley companies also have similar programs. Such programs are aimed at combating a major problem in San Francisco; the problem of too many young workers who travel to Silicon Valley in Private Buses. Such tendencies disadvantage the low-income residents living in the area. People living along the routes of these buses are hit hard by the menace of traffic congestion.
Facebook are doing a good job, but this may increase the housing crisis in Silicon Valley. If their program gains roots, the rent around the headquarters will escalate affecting low-income residents in the area. East Palo Alto will be hit hard by this potential housing crisis.
“Many families will be affected,” claimed John Liotti, CEO of Able works (a community advocacy group in East Palo Alto.
But Facebook claims that their decision was made with the interest of the workers at heart, “Our focus is to help our employees and the people who bring growth to the company,” a Facebook spokesperson clarified.
Critics are viewing this move as an attempt to have the workers spend more time at work and reduce the cost of maintaining the company’s luxury buses.
Workers in Silicon Valley claim that the commute to work is only getting worse. Initially, it would take an hour to get to work; nowadays it takes more than 90 minutes to get to work. Companies have grown over the years, and more cars are struggling to get to San Francisco bay every morning.