Microsoft promises $ 500 million for affordable housing

by Elizabeth Kayser |

(AP file photo / Michel Euler, file)

Microsoft announced on Wednesday its plan to provide $ 500 million to preserve existing affordable housing, drive forward the construction of new units, and work with non-profit organizations to address the crisis of affordable housing in the Puget Sound region.

The company sent out a press release on Wednesday evening announcing a joint statement by mayors of nine cities; Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton and Sammamish.

The mayors of these nine cities have issued a statement calling for affordable housing for families and individuals in all areas of finance.

"Too many of our teachers can no longer afford to live near the schools they teach in. Too many nurses, teachers, cops, and other first responders move out of the communities where they find a home that feeds them Homelessness continues to increase and our local workforce continues to swing away - congestion is worsening and our sense of community is being undermined, "the statement says.

According to a presentation compiled by Microsoft, average house prices in the region rose 96 percent, while median household incomes rose only 34 percent.

According to her presentation, the region requires 653,900 affordable housing units and only 348,900 units. a gap of 305,000.

"Technology and other industries have brought jobs to the greater Seattle area, people and more prosperity, but they have also increased the need for more housing for people," said the dismissal. "Unfortunately, housing construction in the region has not kept pace with this growth."

In a blog post by Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, and Amy Hood, Microsoft's chief financial officer, the company had been trying to figure out how to solve the problem for about 8 months.

"It's a big problem, and it's a problem that keeps getting worse," the blog says.

Swiss Post divides the three areas in which they want to invest the money:

  1. $ 225 million at lower prices than the market price to subsidize capital for the preservation and construction of middle-income homes. These investments will initially be made in six cities east of Seattle and Lake Washington: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish.
  2. $ 250 million at market rates will help support low-income housing throughout the King County area. We believe that additional capital at market rates can help accelerate the construction of low-income homes in the region.
  3. $ 25 million in philanthropic aid to tackle homelessness in the Greater Seattle area. Today, we announce the first $ 10 million in these grants. This includes a $ 5 million philanthropic grant for the recently announced Home Base Program, which was established by the Seattle Mariners, the United Way of King County and the King County Bar Association. This program helps to drive people to their homes through legal assistance, access to flexible funds and case management. We also provide $ 5 million to support a new homeless homeless agency formed by the City of Seattle and King County.

"If we want to make progress, we all have to work together as a community," says the blog. "We recognize that Microsoft is uniquely positioned to under-scale its performance, but we believe that every individual and every company, big or small, is committed to contributing It includes new initiatives to share data on where jobs are created, housing and commuting for employees, as well as new work to develop the detailed changes in public policy needed to create more affordable housing. "

Microsoft expects the promise to support 39 percent of working households in Greater Seattle with financial burdens - especially households spending more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing.

"It also aims to empower Seattle service workers, such as teachers, nurses, firefighters and police, to live in the communities they work in. This, in turn, gives them short ways and the opportunity to take their children there to send schools nearby, "said the release.

Here is the full breakdown and presentation from Microsoft.