Microsoft pledges $500M to build homes in Seattle

The Visitor’s Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus in Redmond, Washington.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Microsoft is making its largest ever pledge of $500 million and is using it to combat homelessness.

The software giant announced earlier Wednesday that it plans to use the money to develop affordable housing in Seattle’s Puget Sound region and is aiming the housing options at low-to-middle income workers, reports The Seattle Times.

These are workers who “teach our kids in schools, and put out the fires in our houses and keep us alive in the hospital,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith in the report.

The $500 million fund will be used to help create “tens of thousands of units” and will be split three ways: a $225 million loan at below-market interest rates will go to developers, $250 million will go toward market-rate loans for affordable housing construction while the remaining $25 million will be donated to services for low-income and the homeless.

In the report Smith also added that Microsoft’s funds alone aren’t close to solving the housing problems, and is urging mayors in the Eastside cities to address policy barriers that are hindering affordable housing development.

CNET has reached out to Microsoft for a comment, who referred us to its blog post on the matter.

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