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06/16/2021

Amazon commits $300 million to affordable housing

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is funding the creation of 3,000 new affordable homes near public transit in three metro areas.

The e-tail giant is following up on the January 2021 launch of its $2 billion Housing Equity Fund by pledging more than $300 million to create an estimated 3,000 new affordable housing units on land owned by transit agencies or privately-owned land in close proximity to public transit.

Amazon will work closely with public transit agencies to fund development on either surplus land owned by the agencies or privately-owned land near active transit corridors to create new, affordable, and move-in ready homes by as early as 2025. 

This new wave of investments includes $125 million in below-market loans to developers working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to create more than 1,000 new homes in the Washington, D.C. area; $100 million in below-market loans to developers working with Sound Transit to accelerate creation of up to 1,200 homes in Washington state’s Puget Sound region; and $75 million to developers to create an estimated 800 homes on private land in Nashville, Tennessee, near high-capacity WeGo transit corridors.

By focusing on transit-oriented development (TOD), Amazon hopes to support greater economic activity, reduced traffic congestion and associated environmental benefits, and a strengthened, more resilient labor force.

“Transportation and housing costs account for a significant portion of the average person’s expenses,” said Jay Carney, senior VP, global corporate affairs, Amazon. “By investing $300 million of Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund in transit-oriented housing development, moderate- to low-income families in Puget Sound, Arlington, and Nashville will be able to reduce their expenditures on housing while gaining easy transit to jobs and amenities. We hope this will pave a path for more inclusive communities.”