This could be a game changer for housing in the region.

Microsoft, arguing that the tech industry has a responsibility to help people left behind in communities transformed by the region’s boom in technology, has pledged $500 million to help address the housing crisis created by high-paying tech jobs that have exploded housing costs and driven out affordable housing.

According to the New York Times, Microsoft’s money represents the most ambitious effort by a tech company to directly address the inequality that has spread in areas where the industry is concentrated, particularly on the West Coast. The money will fund construction for homes affordable not only to the company’s own non-tech workers, but also for teachers, firefighters and other middle- and low-income residents.

Thanks, Microsoft, for stepping up as Seattle and other cities struggle with the rapid growth of the tech industry and the inequality that often follows.

Read more about this exciting project in this New York Times story.