Amazon’s Affordable Housing
Sunya Chay, Staff Writer
Earlier this year, Amazon revealed its plan to help fund homes for low-income families. The Housing Equity Fund is a $2 billion plan to help create and maintain housing. This fund will focus on three different locations: the Puget Sound region, Nashville, Tenn., and Arlington, Va.. Amazon states, “The fund will support Amazon’s commitment to affordable housing and will help ensure moderate- to low-income families can afford housing in communities with easy access to neighborhood services, amenities, and jobs.” This fund will help those struggling to find a home get back on their feet.
Beyond helping families with housing, the Housing Equity Fund will also give grants to organizations run by minorities. “Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund will provide an additional $125 million in cash grants to businesses, nonprofits, and minority-led organizations to help them build a more inclusive solution to the affordable housing crisis, which disproportionately affects communities of color.” This added fund will help minorities create more housing in areas where it is scarce. They also will provide funds for resources that are not part of the housing, including schools and transportation. With the added funds to those resources, Amazon hopes that it will help create more affordable housing and overall better communities.
Within the three locations, Amazon hopes that they can help keep the cost of housing low. Specifically, Amazon is planning to help those who are making between thirty to eighty percent of the average income. In Washington, Amazon aims to help keep 1,000 apartments in King County affordable for those who make eighty percent of the average income. The company is going to give a $161.5 million loan to the King County Housing Agency in order to meet their goals. In addition, Amazon will also give a $24 million grant to keep the aforementioned 1,000 apartments affordable. With part of the grant, Amazon plans to help those who make thirty percent of the average income. While working with the agency, Amazon desires to help finance 470 units in Hampton Greens, Illahee Apartments, and Pinewood Village in King County. These units will be for households that make thirty to eighty percent of the average income for the area.
The conglomerate is also working with Washington Housing Conservancy, giving $339.9 million in loans and $42 million in grants. In Arlington, Va., the Washington Housing Conservancy was able to buy Crystal House, which is an apartment complex. This apartment complex offers a range of apartments from loft style studios to three-bedroom apartments. This happened two months earlier than expected and is near the new Amazon Headquarters. The development was made using the loan that they gave to the Washington Housing Center.
In addition to the grants in Washington, Amazon is funding $2 million dollars in loans to help fund affordable housing for low-income families. With this fund, Amazon strives to create more affordable housing resources, such as better transportation and schools that are beneficial in the affected housing markets.