The Rent in the Seattle area have increased in the past eight years, to 96 percent For many low-and middle-income is it hard to find affordable housing, such as self-Microsoft Executive Brad Smith acknowledged.

in Order to promote cheaper housing in the vicinity of its headquarters in Seattle, has announced its group to invest 500 million dollars. The Plan provides for loans of $ 475 million, as well as a donation of 25 million dollars for aid to the homeless, said the Software company in a blog entry.

The rise of Online retailer Amazon with headquarters in Seattle, and previously of Microsoft from neighboring Redmond, the Region in the US-Federal state of Washington as a technology center. Other Tech companies such as Apple have set up operations here and, in addition, Start settle-ups.

resistance against a housing-tax

With the tens of thousands of well-paid IT professionals, the Rent increased, but, at the same time, there are more and more homeless people. After Amazon announced in the fall to open in New York and Washington, a new group-Central, was there, too, the anger, out of fear of exploding

Seattle Rent huge, the city Council tried last year to combat homelessness using money from a new tax: Larger companies should annually pay $ 275 per employee. Following massive resistance from the industry, the decision was taken back but a few weeks later.

Microsoft now wants to give $ 225 million at interest rates below the market level of real estate developers to build cheaper housing. A further $ 250 million to support loans to market terms and conditions customary in dwellings for people with low income. You should help according to the “Seattle Times” for those that earned less than 60 percent of the local average income.

the referendum in Berlin want been thinking expropriation of large housing corporations

In Berlin in the face of rising Rents, meanwhile, a different approach. An Initiative wants to make in April, by popular expropriation of housing desire. The goal is a law for the “socialisation” of large firms in the city of more than 3000 dwellings in the stock.

the focus of the Initiative listed real estate group Deutsche Wohnen, is one of the largest in the industry in Germany and in Berlin and the surrounding area of 115,000 dwellings has is the stock exchange. He is due to rent increases and dealing with his tenants again and again in the headlines.

Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, near Seattle

The Left as a governing partner in the red-red-green Senate have pledged their support, sympathy, there are also in the Green. Industry representatives warn, however, against scaring away investors. “The debate is a fatal Signal”, criticized the chamber of Commerce and industry managing Director, Jan Eder. “It is worrying that a populist and by the reality long since repeatedly refuted claims, of all places, in Berlin with his political past, are celebrating their Comeback.” The real estate Association of Germany stated: “expropriation fit into our System of free and social market economy.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.