Amazon is investing $ 2 billion to build affordable housing in these three cities

The Technology giant The New Housing Equity Fund will invest in middle- to low-income housing around Seattle, Nashville and Arlington, Virginia, with the company ultimately expecting each to have at least 5,000 employees.

“The new $ 2 billion real estate equity fund will create or maintain 20,000 affordable homes in all of our three headquarters regions – Arlington, Puget Sound and Nashville,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. It will also help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong and inclusive societies.

The first investment of more than $ 567 million will go toward 1,300 affordable housing units near HQ2, Amazon’s new Virginia headquarters, and up to 1,000 apartments near its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

In Arlington, Amazon said it invested $ 381.9 million in sub-market loans, plus grants for the Washington Housing Foundation that will go to 1,300 affordable homes in a Crystal House near HQ2. And in Washington, Amazon’s investment of $ 185.5 million went to the King County Housing Authority to keep up to 1,000 affordable homes. In Bellevue.

Amazon has been criticized in the past for dentifying areas where it has opened large operations It raises the cost of housing.
A number of cities She competed hard To become the new headquarters for HQ2 – with Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, Queens, eventually in New York Winning the tender For headquarters PBX in 2018.
But backlash Community leaders and local government officials in Queens eventually led Amazon to the pull out New York. Local officials said at the time that Amazon had shown little interest in conversations about things like traffic congestion and rising housing costs that may have accompanied the thousands of highly paid tech workers in Queens.

Amazon says its new approach is designed to help low- and middle-income families in the areas it currently calls home.

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In each of the three regions, the company is targeting homes for families that generate between 30% and 80% of the average income in the region.

In addition to its $ 2 billion investment, the fund also includes $ 125 million in grants to minority-led organizations and public agencies aimed at ameliorating the shortage of affordable housing, which disproportionately affects people of color.

The fund will also provide grants to government partners, such as transit agencies and school districts, to help families working in those fields.

“In booming cities across the United States, many affordable apartment buildings for teachers, healthcare providers, transport workers and other people with modest incomes are being redeveloped into luxury apartments, causing displacement and reducing housing options for working families,” said Sarah Rosen Artel. . Head of the Urban Institute in a statement.

“Investments such as those announced by Amazon that help preserve these existing buildings and maintain moderate rental levels are essential to local efforts that promote economic inclusion and support stability and economic mobility for middle- and low-income families.”

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