Microsoft pledges $500 million to address homelessness, affordable housing crisis in Seattle

Microsoft pledges $500 million to address homelessness, affordable housing crisis in Seattle
The company said the gap between job growth and housing growth has been even greater in the suburban cities around Seattle than in Seattle itself.

SEATTLE (CNN) - Microsoft will invest half-a-billion dollars to create more affordable housing in the Seattle area.

The company said Wednesday it would work with non-profit groups, to tackle what it called “the affordable housing crisis” in the region.

Microsoft says the median income in the Seattle area hasn't been keeping up with housing costs.

So much so, the company says it's becoming impossible for lower-to-middle income workers to live close to where they work.

Microsoft is expected to bring up to 8,000 new workers to its headquarters in Redmond, WA, just east of Seattle.

“We recognize that Microsoft is in a unique position to put the size of its balance sheet behind this effort,” the company said in a statement. “But we believe that every individual and every business, large and small, has a responsibility to contribute.”

The influx of tech workers has been blamed for jacking up housing costs in other cities, including San Francisco.

This is the largest pledge in the company's 44-year history.

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