Microsoft pledges $500M to tackle Seattle housing crisis

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft is responding to the Seattle region’s widening affordability gap with a $500 million pledge to address homelessness and develop affordable housing.

The Seattle Times reports the pledge is the largest in the company’s 44-year history, and, according to the company, is one of the heftiest contributions by a private corporation to housing.

Microsoft President Brad Smith says most of the money will be aimed at increasing housing options for low- and middle-income workers including teachers, firefighters and people who work in hospitals.

Microsoft officials say it’s too early to say exactly how much affordable housing will ultimately result from the $500 million.

Smith says the company hopes to leverage the fund to help create “tens of thousands of units.”

Microsoft is based in the Seattle suburb of Redmond.