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When one of the major tech companies moves into an area and creates thousands of jobs, house prices skyrocket. Amazon is attempting to counter that affect by launching a $2 billion housing equity fund aimed at creating affordable homes.
The new homes will be created in Washington State’s Puget Sound region, Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee, all of which already have an Amazon presence and “at least 5,000 employees each in the coming years.” Initially, the first investment will see more than $567 million spent creating 1,300 affordable apartment homes available near Amazon’s Puget Sound, Washington headquarters. Ultimately, the goal is to create over 20,000 homes for “moderate- to low-income” families.
“Amazon has a long-standing commitment to helping people in need, including the Mary’s Place family shelter we built inside our Puget Sound headquarters. The shelter now supports over 200 women and children experiencing homelessness every night,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “This new $2 billion Housing Equity Fund will create or preserve 20,000 affordable homes in all three of our headquarters regions—Arlington, Puget Sound, and Nashville. It will also help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong, inclusive communities.”
The money will be provided by Amazon at below-market capital “in the form of loans, lines of credit, and grants.” The homes are for families making between 30-80 percent of an area’s median income, therefore ensuring they help the right people in each local community.
Amazon isn’t the only big tech firm pledging to invest in housing. Microsoft is spending $500 million inSeattle, Google is addressing the Bay Area housing crisis with $1 billion, and Apple is spending $2.5 billion of housing in California, with $400 million already set aside for affordable housing in Silicon Valley.
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