Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is spending $30 million to house 94 homeless and low-income families in south Seattle.
Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty Images for 1st Family Foun
Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty Images for 1st Family Foun

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gives $30M to house homeless, low-income families

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The Seattle Times reports that Allen’s donation to the Mount Baker Family Housing development is the largest funding piece for the project. Allen has been partnered with the project throughout its design process. Mercy Housing Northwest and Mary’s Place will help run the eight-story complex a block away from the Mount Baker Link light rail station. Half of the units are reserved for homeless families. The other half will be for low-income families of three.

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The bottom floor will be a resource center for families who need help finding day care services, after-school programs or homeless diversion.

The construction project will cost $46 million in total. The Paul G. Allen Philanthropies donated the $30 million. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office is also providing $5 million to the project. Another $10 million is coming from a housing tax credit.

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It’s the largest in a series of donations Allen has made in recent months which have drawn attention. His investment firm Vulcan donated $25,000 to help defeat the Seattle City Council’s head tax. Allen has also donated $100,000 to help Republicans keep control of the House. He is also helping to fund Blokable, a Seattle startup aiming to revolutionize affordable housing.

Allen’s donation comes nearly one week after another Seattle tech giant announced he is providing funds to tackle homelessness. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is targeting $2 million at organizations serving homeless communities, such as Mary’s Place. He is also using the money to fund “Montessori inspired” early childhood education centers in low-income areas.

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