Microsoft is pledging to give $500 million to affordable housing after researching the housing market in the Seattle area last summer. With many of the tech giant’s employees living in this area, Microsoft has a strong motivation to ensure that there is affordable housing available. With the company’s help, residents of the region who were left behind in the tech boom can finally catch up.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has put up a large amount of money towards affordable housing in the Seattle Area. Co-Founder, Paul Allen, has also given $30 million to build homes for low-income families and the homeless in south Seattle. As the area is Microsoft’s home, it’s only fitting that they build or fund homes for the residents of Seattle as well. Even if the motivations aren’t purely altruistic, their pledges are continuing to help those who need it.
Within three years, Microsoft plans to invest a total of $500 million in different housing programs. $225 million will go to building and preserving middle-income housing in six cities around its headquarters in Redmond. $250 million will fund building low-income housing in different parts of the region. These loans will go to either non-profit developers or government housing groups, and when the loans are repaid, the company plans to lend out the money again to other projects. $25 million will be grants to local programs that help the homeless with things like legal aid to fight evictions. By spreading out the money in different projects, Microsoft will be able to help more people and help solve different kinds of problems.
The company isn’t the only tech giant helping out with affordable housing in the Seattle Area. Amazon has worked with programs that create homeless shelters for women and children, and they have also given millions of dollars to Seattle’s affordable housing trust funds. Google has also aided in plans to construct 10,000 housing units in a developing area.
As the area continues to transform into a tech hub, more aid in financing affordable housing will be needed because the market price of houses will continue to rise. Even if these pledges to give money aren’t truly altruistic, investing in affordable housing is beneficial for the tech companies. Many of their employees (engineers, businessmen, janitors, etc.) need to live near the headquarters, so houses need to be affordable. With a reported net income of $8.8 billion, Microsoft can surely afford to help with the housing of its employees.