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Amazon to take a position $2 billion to construct reasonably priced housing in these three cities

The tech large’s new Housing Equity Fund will put money into moderate- to low-income housing round Seattle, Nashville and Arlington, Virginia, the place the corporate in the end expects to have not less than 5,000 staff every.

“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,” mentioned Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, in an announcement. “It will also help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong, inclusive communities.”

The first funding of greater than $567 million will go towards 1,300 reasonably priced condominium models close to “HQ2,” Amazon’s new Virginia headquarters, and as much as 1,000 flats close to its Seattle, Washington headquarters.

In Arlington, Amazon mentioned it has invested $381.9 million in loans provided at under market charges, in addition to grants to Washington Housing Conservancy that may go towards 1,300 reasonably priced houses on the Crystal House property close to HQ2. And in Washington, Amazon’s funding of $185.5 million went to the King County Housing Authority to protect as much as 1,000 reasonably priced houses. in Bellevue.

Amazon has been criticized prior to now for gentrifying the areas the place it has opened massive operations and driving up the price of housing.
Plenty of cities competed aggressively to change into the brand new residence for HQ2 — with Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, Queens, in New York in the end profitable the bid for a break up headquarters in 2018.
But backlash from group leaders and native authorities officers in Queens in the end led Amazon to drag out of New York. Local officers mentioned on the time that Amazon confirmed little curiosity in conversations about issues like site visitors congestion and rising housing prices which will have come together with 1000’s of extremely paid tech employees in Queens.

Amazon says its new strategy is designed to assist low- and middle-income households within the areas it presently calls residence.

In every of the three areas, the corporate is concentrating on houses for households making between 30% to 80% of the world’s median earnings.

In addition to its $2 billion funding, the fund additionally contains $125 million in grants to minority-led organizations and public businesses aimed toward enhancing the scarcity of reasonably priced housing, which disproportionately impacts folks of shade, Amazon mentioned.

The fund can even give grants to authorities companions, like transit businesses and college districts, to assist working households in these fields.

“In booming cities across the US, many apartment buildings affordable for teachers, healthcare providers, transit workers, and others with modest incomes are increasingly being redeveloped into luxury apartments, causing displacement and reducing housing options for working families,” mentioned Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute in an announcement.

“Investments like those announced by Amazon that help preserve these existing buildings and maintain moderate rent levels are critical to local efforts that promote economic inclusion and support the stability and economic mobility of moderate- and low-income families.”

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