Microsoft has committed $583 million to address affordable housing and homelessness in Puget Sound region

by Patrick Regan

The beautiful distant skyline of Seattle, Washington shot from an altitude of approximately 800 feet during a helicopter photo flight on a sunny summer afternoon.

Microsoft recently announced an update to the $750 million pledge it made three years ago to address affordable housing and homelessness in the Puget Sound region. 

To date, Microsoft has allocated $583 million in a variety of initiatives to address homelessness and housing for low- and middle-income earners. That’s resulted in the preservation or creation of 9,200 housing units across the region, the company said.

“The need for housing across income levels is growing and the problem is becoming even harder to solve,” the company said in a blog post. “This region continues to have one of the most competitive markets in the country for land and real estate acquisition. Job growth is far outpacing housing supply, leading to scarcity and affordability challenges.” 

The company on Jan. 20 announced several initiatives, including:

  • An increased investment of $75 million to help developers acquire land for affordable housing.
  • Support for a new financing model that allows groups to acquire property and convert it to housing for middle-income earners, defined as people making $69,000 to $139,000 annually.
  • Cash grants worth $3 million, plus a $3 million loan, to support organizations that help the homeless.

In its blog post, Microsoft said money alone won’t fix the region’s housing issues, and it called on creative financing efforts and public policy changes to make an impact.

The challenges ahead are significant but, by working together as a community, we can make significant progress,” the blog post said. “We look forward to our continued work together.”

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