Billionaire Paul Allen pledged $30 million for new housing for homeless families in Seattle.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made the announcement Wednesday, which prompted audible gasps inside the Mercy Othello Plaza Apartments.

Bill Hilf, the Vulcan and Allen Foundation CEO, said Paul Allen has recognized the need for more support for the issue, emphatically saying it was "his city" and he wanted to help it.

The city is chipping in an additional $5 million for what's being called a partnership.

The money will be used to build a service center and housing.

Mercy Housing, which is part of the agreement, said Wednesday the location will be determined after a public process, but that it believes the project will help several dozen people get off the streets and on the road to stable housing.