Hahaha a bit of "too little too late". Seattle got fucked by big tech companies. It was a small city that didn't like development all that much and now everyone is priced out! $500m is a drop in the bucket. They need massive up zoning.
The cynic in me says this is really a thinly veiled foray into the world of targeted lending helping their own cause:
"Microsoft officials say it’s too early to say exactly how much affordable housing will ultimately result from the $500 million."
Developers have to make a profit, we'll see how many units are actually built so that a profit can be turned...
"The company will split the funds three ways:
Microsoft will loan $225 million at below-market interest rates to help developers facing high land and construction costs build and preserve “workforce housing” on the Eastside, where the company has 50,000 workers and is planning for more. The developments will be aimed at households making between $62,000 and $124,000 per year.
Another $250 million will go toward market-rate loans for construction of affordable housing across the Puget Sound region for people making up to 60 percent of the local median income ($48,150 for a two-person household). Microsoft plans to dole out the $475 million in capital investment over three years.
The remaining $25 million will be donated to services for the region’s low-income and homeless residents. Out of that amount, the company will give $5 million to an effort backed by the Seattle Mariners to beef up staffing at a King County Bar Association legal clinic for tenants facing eviction, and another $5 million to support Seattle and King County’s push to consolidate their homelessness services.
Microsoft’s push into housing finance follows its announcement of a massive expansion of its Redmond headquarters. The company, which is sitting on $135 billion in cash reserves and short-term investments, is adding about 2.5 million square feet in new construction and plans to renovate another 6.7 million square feet. When it’s done, Microsoft will have room for another 8,000 employees."
So - $225M at below market rates in their neighborhood to help what will mostly be their own lower wage employees...
$250M at market rate for real affordable housing...
and $25M for actual social services