You read that right: Google is helping to fund an affordable housing project in Allston.

At first, we thought there must be some sort of cyber catch — like, perhaps, how Google had discovered a rich vein of rare-earth materials underneath the surface of Allston or how it was building as vast underground communications center in exchange for rebuilding the Charlesview apartments.

Nope, it’s a straightforward real-estate deal. Google is taking advantage of a federal tax-credit program.

These are strange times in our country’s economic history.

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