Microsoft jumps into affordable housing
Microsoft is pumping $500m into affordable housing initiatives in its home town of Seattle. The tech giant says median income in the region has failed to keep pace with housing costs, making it impossible for lower- and middle-income workers to live close to where they work.
MS says its will invest:
$225m at lower than market rate returns to inject capital to subsidise the preservation and construction of middle-income housing
$250m at market rate returns to support low-income housing and help accelerate the construction of low-income housing
$25m in philanthropic grants to address homelessness in the greater Seattle region.
The company says a shortage in available housing has seen housing prices surge 96% in the past eight years, making the Greater Seattle area the sixth most expensive region in the US.
“Teachers, nurses, first responders and many in key roles at non-profits, businesses and tech companies now begin and end their workdays with long commutes. And people who are homeless face problems that are even more daunting.”
Fast fact - Seattle has more construction cranes in operation that any other city in the US, a position it has held for the past three years. Half of the cranes are designated mixed-use, while one-quarter are residential.