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As the price of housing keeps on increasing dramatically over the years, more and more families find it hard to afford one. With this, Amazon took the first step back in January 2021 by making a commitment to launch its Housing Equity Fund with a $2 billion initiative. The fund was then promised to create 20,000 affordable homes to address the affordable housing crisis that is said to be worsened by the industry. What makes Amazon’s plan more interesting is the location of its housing project: affordable-housing units close to transit stations near Seattle and Washington, D.C.
“Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund is providing more than $2 billion in below-market loans and grants to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in our hometown communities,” Amazon states on its site post. “The Housing Equity Fund is in addition to $100 million in cash and in-kind donations to our nonprofit partner, Mary’s Place, to build the largest family shelter in Washington state inside an Amazon office building at our Puget Sound headquarters.”
According to Amazon’s announcement last Tuesday, the first project will receive up to $120 million in funds in order to construct a total of 1,060 homes near four public transit sites in the said locations: SeaTac and Bellevue in the Washington state and New Carrollton and College Park in Maryland. The company is currently collaborating with Sound Transit and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
On the other hand, Amazon is also growing Bellevue operations near the Seattle headquarters and developing another corporate hub in Arlington, Virginia.
“We know that our investment in these areas brings many economic opportunities for residents in the region, but we also acknowledge that this growth needs to benefit everyone in the community,” said Catherine Buell, Amazon Housing Equity Fund Director.
In connection to this, Microsoft has also promised to allot at least $750 million for its affordable housing project in the Seattle area. With the same reason pointed out by critics, the multinational technology corporation aspires to alleviate the effects of the claims that the tech industry is making the housing crisis worse.