(un)affordable: Big tech and affordable housing


Over the last few years technology giants have announced major pledges to affordable housing efforts in the cities where they office. While these pledges are welcome in major tech centers in Washington state and California’s Bay Area, the companies are simultaneously expanding in cities across the country. When a tech company decides to office in any area, they attract highly paid employees, who often relocate and can put extra demand on local housing supply, often driving up costs to the detriment of middle-, low-, and extremely low-income earners. The presence of technology companies in a region can also come with benefits, but it’s often associated with growth that’s unequally distributed. Now these tech companies are promising to help, but how exactly will they do that? In this episode of (un)affordable Angela K. Evans speaks with Lisa Vatske, the director of Multifamily Housing & Community Facilities at the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Since 2019, the Commission has partnered with Microsoft in the company’s affordable housing initiative, the first in the nation.


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