Microsoft has announced a $500 million commitment to provide capital for affordable housing solutions across the Puget Sound region.
As part of the commitment, the technology giant will make loans to accelerate the construction of affordable housing in the region, including below-market-rate loans totaling $225 million to subsidize the preservation and construction of middle-income housing in six cities east of Seattle and Lake Washington (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton, and Sammamish) and $250 million in market-rate loans to support low-income housing across the entire King County region.
The company also will award $25 million in grants to address homelessness in the greater Seattle area, including $5 million in support of the recently announced Home Base program created by the Seattle Mariners, the United Way of King County, and the King County Bar Association, and $5 million to help support the creation of a joint agency on homelessness by the City of Seattle and King County.
"If we're going to make progress, we'll all need to work together as a community," said Microsoft president Brad Smith. "We recognize that Microsoft is in a unique position to put the size of its balance sheet behind this effort. But we believe that every individual and every business, large and small, has a responsibility to contribute. This includes new initiatives to share data on where jobs are being created and the home locations and commuting distances for employees. It also includes new work to develop the detailed public policy changes that will be needed to provide more affordable housing."