Microsoft’s Affordable Housing Initiative Gains Traction

Stoel Rives would like to congratulate Microsoft on three investments under its $750,000,000 affordable housing initiative.

First, Microsoft has closed a $40,000,000 first-round investment in Urban Housing Ventures, an innovative partnership supported by Stream Real Estate and Freddie Mac. UHV will acquire market rate projects and bring down the rents to affordable levels, using a unique $325,000,000 multi-asset facility that provides favorable financing upon achievement of portfolio-wide middle-income affordability targets. Portfolio-wide targets allow UHV the flexibility to bring additional market-rate projects into the fund and provide affordability over time. Microsoft, Washington Federal Bank, and Washington Trust Bank provided the initial capital investments in UHV to enable it to purchase three projects in Bellevue and Kirkland, WA. The fund does not require any local public subsidies or financing and provides a model that is attractive for investors.

Second, Microsoft closed a $25,000,000 line of credit to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission to fund the Commission’s expanded land acquisition program. The program will provide fast, flexible and favorable loans to non-profit and for-profit developers to purchase land for middle-income affordable housing projects in east King County, Washington. Among other things, the program expands on the Commission’s existing land acquisition program by making funds available to for-profit developers and middle-income projects. In addition, it offers incentives to borrowers who succeed in reducing regulatory hurdles to housing development.

Third, the National Council of State Housing Agencies recently gave the Washington State Housing Finance Commission an award for its partnership with Microsoft in creating a $250,000,000 line of credit to enable recycling of tax-exempt bond volume cap. Bond recycling allows a state allocating agency to stretch its annual allocation of volume cap, which can be vital for producing affordable housing in competitive markets. Unfortunately, recycling is complicated and requires short term loans without interest rate arbitrage. Microsoft was able to structure a credit facility that meets the technical requirements of the Code, and that has already recaptured $86,000,000 in bonds, deployed $31,000,000 into new projects, creating over 600 affordable apartments.

These investments are part of Microsoft’s $750,000,000 Affordable Housing Initiative to address the need for an adequate supply of affordable housing in greater Seattle. Stoel Rives is proud to represent Microsoft in this initiative. The Stoel Rives team is led by the firm’s Real Estate, Development and Construction Group Chair Joseph P. McCarthy and includes affordable housing and finance attorneys Sallie Lin, Kate Mathews and Kristin Russell.

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