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Lured by Seattle’s Tech Boom, but Being Left Behind

Posted by Steve Schram on May 04, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Originally published on May 3, 2016 on The New York Times by Kirk Johnson.

SEATTLE — Look outside almost any window at the Guest Rooms homeless shelter here, and the view speaks of wealth and power that the residents inside all lack. Construction cranes claw the sky. Trucks hauling steel or concrete rubble shake the streets. Amazon, the giant online retailer, is building out its headquarters campus in every direction as it and other tech companies, in a scramble for real estate and highly educated talent, reshape the city and its work force.

But as tens of thousands of newcomers and longtime residents are finding, the allure of the tech economy comes with big risks and dangers, too, in the rapidly climbing housing and rent prices that have shocked them. The boom has brought with it a crisis of homelessness that the mayor has declared an emergency.

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