Microsoft invests US$60mn to preserve affordable housing

By Brittany Hill

Microsoft invests US$60mn to boost King County Housing Authority (KCHA) and King County’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in greater Seattle region.

The partnership – announced 26 September 2019 – combines investments made by Microsoft (US$60mn), KCHA (US$140mn) and King County (US$20mn) to protect 1,029 units of affordable rental housing throughout king county.

Specifically, Microsoft’s investment will finance – over the course of 15 years – KCHA’s acquisition of five residential apartment complexes ensuring that rents will remain affordable long-term, resulting in 3,000 low – middle income people to remain in their communities.

“We are committed to maintaining and bolstering strong, vibrant communities here in the greater Puget Sound region,” says Jane Broom, senior director of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Thriving communities include safe, reliable and affordable housing options for people at all income levels. To do this, we all need to come together to not only build more housing options, but also to preserve what already exists.”

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Local studies have estimated King County has lost at least 36,000 affordable rental units in the last decade, with rents increasing by 43%. It is estimated that in the next thirty years as a result of this partnership renters will save over US$450mn in housing costs.

“We have extraordinary partners in Microsoft and King County Housing Authority as we collaborate to secure housing opportunities for more than 1,000 low-to-moderate-income individuals and families in East and South King County,” said King County Executive, Dow Constantine. “Our combined investment makes this housing affordable not just now, but for generations to come.”

Microsoft’s investment of US$60mn comes as part of its commitment to invest US$500mn to combat the Puget Sound affordable housing crisis.

 

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