Microsoft to invest $500 million to address the affordable housing crisis in Puget Sound region

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Microsoft yesterday announced a massive $500 million investment over the next three years to tackle the affordable housing crisis in Puget Sound area. Over the past few years, the price of houses in Puget Sound region has gone up significantly and it has pushed out people with lower and even middle incomes. In fact, Puget Sound has become the sixth most expensive region in the country.

Microsoft’s new investment will be used to preserve existing affordable housing, spur construction of new affordable housing units, and partner with nonprofits to address the affordable housing crisis on the Eastside of King County and the Puget Sound region. Find the details on the investment below.

  • $225 million invested at below market rate returns, focused on preserving and developing new middle-income housing on King County’s Eastside.
  • $250 million invested at market rate returns to support low-income housing across the King County region.
  • $25 million in philanthropic grants to address homelessness. This includes two initial commitments:
    • $5 million for the new Home Base program through the United Way of King County, to prevent people from becoming homeless by providing legal representation, helping with back rent and offering caseworker help.
    • $5 million for the aligned funding that supports the city of Seattle and King County creation of a consolidated entity to address homelessness. This funding will help kick-start a new philanthropic funders collaborative that will work together with government and other partners.

“If we’re going to make progress, we’ll all need to work together as a community,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith and Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood in a joint blog post. “Ultimately, a healthy business needs to be part of a healthy community. And a healthy community must have housing within the economic reach of every part of the community, including the many dedicated people who provide the vital services on which we all rely.”

Learn more about this announcement here.