Why are we relying on tech overlords like Microsoft for affordable housing? | Shaun Scott

Microsoft is pledging $500m for housing in Seattle, but that plan isn’t as generous as it looks

Like many major metropolitan areas, Seattle is currently mired in what writer and housing activist Laura Bernstein has described as “a dual crisis of climate and affordability”. A lack of affordable housing near industry has led to carbon-intensive sprawl – think of all those commuting cars – and economic distress among Seattleites. So, last Wednesday, when Microsoft announced a plan to dedicate $500m towards alleviating the affordable housing crisis in the area, one might have been forgiven for thinking it was an entirely good thing.

Related: Think the giants of Silicon Valley have your best interests at heart? Think again | John Naughton

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