Billionaire Paul Allen pledges $30M toward permanent housing for Seattle’s homeless

2017-04-27 17:40:49.0   276 views

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen will donate $30 million toward a permanent housing facility for as many as 100 low-income and homeless families in Seattle.

The donation will help cover design and construction, and Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday the city will contribute an additional $5 million. Mercy Housing Northwest, a local nonprofit, will operate the facility.

The facility will include a service center open to residents and the wider community, said Bill Rumpf, Mercy Housing Northwest president.

“This comprehensive approach is exactly what we need to fund,” Murray said. “It is the kind of thing that makes a difference.”

Planning is in the initial stages, but Rumpf said design and construction costs should fall within the range of the $35 million pledged by the city and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

Operating costs would not be covered by the donation. Mercy Housing will seek public and private funding to help defray the cost of running the facility, Rumpf said. Residents of permanent housing such as this generally pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent.

A location has not been determined.