Ecommerce giant Amazon.com has announced a commitment of more than $2.1 billion in support of an in-house Housing Equity Fund and affordable housing initiatives in the Puget Sound region of Washington, as well as Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
With the goal of preserving or creating more than twenty thousand units of existing housing and new inclusive housing developments in the company's three "headquarters regions," the fund will provide $2 billion in below-market capital — in the form of loans, lines of credit, and grants — to affordable housing developers. Initial investments include below-market loans and grants of $381.9 million to the D.C.-based Washington Housing Conservancy to preserve and create up to thirteen hundred affordable units on the Crystal House property in Arlington and $185.5 million to the King County Housing Authority to preserve up to a thousand affordable units or homes in Washington State.
In addition, the fund will award $125 million in grants to minority-led organizations and public agencies working to create more inclusive solutions to the country's affordable housing crisis, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.
"Washington Housing Conservancy disrupts a market cycle that leads to displacement and offers the kind of stability that lets residents focus on their future, instead of the uncertainty of escalating rents," said the conservancy's executive director, Kimberly Driggins. "With Amazon's support, we are advancing our vision for inclusive, mixed-income communities of racially diverse middle-income and low-income families and individuals, to live near their employment and access high-performing schools and community amenities."
(Photo credit: Amazon/Joel Flora)