ImpactAlpha, February 6 – The Seattle metro area offers an object lesson in how tech wealth has fueled the U.S. housing affordability crisis. L.A.-based Turner Impact Capital, which buys, preserves and upgrades middle- and low-income rental properties, made its first investment in the area, buying the Sunset View complex in Renton, Wash.
The deal adds 240 units to Turner Impact Capital’s goal of acquiring and preserving 20,000 U.S. workforce and affordable housing units.
What’s affordable? That depends. “Workforce housing” generally refers to units that are priced for households earning 80% to 120% of the area median income. (“The term “workforce” housing is not only imprecise, it is controversial,” says the Brookings Institute.) “Affordable housing” refers specifically to housing that qualifies for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and is aimed at families earning up to 80% of area median income. Families earning 50% or less of area median income may be eligible for subsidized housing.
Tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook have pledged billions to build and preserve middle- and low-income housing on their home turfs.
Other recent investments include Catalyst Opportunity Fund’s housing deals in Los Angeles and Montana, Fifth Third Bank’s $100 million commitment to affordable and workforce housing in 10 states, and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s small checks to acquire and convert single-family homes into affordable and workforce housing in Atlanta.