Paul Allen gives Seattle $30M to house homeless | KUOW News and Information

Paul Allen gives Seattle $30M to house homeless

Apr 26, 2017

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen is giving Seattle $30 million to house homeless families.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the partnership Wednesday, saying that the city will add another $5 million to the project.

"This money will be focused on building permanent housing for homeless families and children so that we can reach our commitment in the next 18 months that there are no children and their families on our streets," Murray said.

Bill Hilf, CEO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., said the facility will go further than just giving people a place to sleep.

"This center will bring together permanent housing along with on-site services that are so critical to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. And we will provide those services beyond the physical building itself to the broader community that's in need," Hilf said.   

He said it's important for the whole community to step up. 

"We believe that tackling homelessness is everyone's responsibility, from businesses to nonprofits to public institutions."

In his state of the city address earlier this year, Mayor Murray put a call out to local businesses asking them to consider giving $25 million over five years to help combat homelessness.

"I asked for 25 million, we got 30. That's one company. It just tells you how generous the city of Seattle is and how if we come together, and if we take those risks, we can grow this amount of money even larger," Murray said.

The new housing complex will be owned and run by nonprofit group Mercy Housing Northwest.

A site for the development has yet to be chosen, but officials say the project could have up to 100 apartments and could open within two years.

Families who stay at the space will pay no more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

According to the city, there are currently 1,684 families waiting for housing in King County.