Microsoft Pledges $500 Million Investment To Tackle Affordable Housing Crisis


Microsoft is spending $500 million on housing in Seattle.

Microsoft is putting up $500 million to help address the problem.

Microsoft is responding to the Seattle region's widening affordability gap with a $500 million pledge to address homelessness and develop affordable housing.

If we're going to make progress, we'll all need to work together as a community.

$225m is going on middle income housing in cities east of Seattle (such as Redmond), $250m will support low income housing across the entire King County region, and finally $25m is going on philanthropic grants to work on the thorny issue of homelessness.

The software giant, which isn't based in Seattle but nearby Redmond, said it would work to open up housing options for low- and middle-income workers nearly immediately, with plans to invest the money within the next three years.

CNET has reached out to Microsoft for a comment, who referred us to its blog post on the matter.

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Microsoft wants to help change this with its half-a-billion-dollar housing initiative. Rising rents have also exacerbated homelessness."Teachers, nurses, first responders and many in key roles at nonprofits, businesses and tech companies now begin and end their workdays with long commutes", Microsoft said.

The software company made the announcement Wednesday, explaining that the windfall will be distributed over the next three years.

The company's plan involves providing $225 million in capital for lower-than-market rate returns to subsidize the preservation and construction of middle-income housing. The developments will be aimed at households making between $62,000 and $124,000 per year.

The torrid pace of home-price appreciation is slowing in some once-hot areas. Amazon, which was planning to hire 7,000 new workers in Seattle and was building new facilities at the time, was strongly opposed to the plan.

Smith and Hood wrote that Microsoft had teamed up with the Seattle-based real estate firm Zillow over the past eight months to research housing data and that it had worked with others to study best practices for affordable housing around the world. "Ultimately, a healthy business needs to be part of a healthy community". And Salesforce chief executive, Marc Benioff, helped fund a proposition in San Francisco to tax businesses to pay for homeless services - which voters approved but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey opposed.

"The reality is we're requiring more and more people who are so important to our communities to contemplate living farther and farther away", Smith said Thursday.

Microsoft urged the state to double the $100 million budget for its Housing Trust Fund, which provides grants to developers of low-income housing.