Crosscut: “Will Microsoft’s housing plan work?”

Crosscut: “Will Microsoft’s housing plan work?”

“Microsoft’s recent launch of a $500 million program to help finance affordable housing in King County over the next three years was met with fanfare, but was light on details..

“But a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit offers some clues. Microsoft cited Housing Trust Silicon Valley as a potential model for how the affordable housing effort will operate…

“Bay Area housing advocates say the Housing Trust plays a key role.

“‘CDFIs are a critical part of the ecosystem to create and sustain affordable housing,’ said Amie Fishman, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. ‘Housing Trust is an innovative CDFI and … I think it’s really clear that had they not been around, the people they helped would not have been helped.’

“But Fishman emphasized that ‘on its own that’s not enough. It needs to be part of the larger ecosystem. We need corporations to understand how important it is that there’s government investment and corporate investment and philanthropic investment. That’s what it takes to build and sustain the housing that workers need.'”

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Alina Harway