Amazon commits $2bn for affordable housing in its three key hub cities

E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly announced that it is planning to allocate over $2 billion for building and preserving 20,000 affordable houses in three of its prominent employment areas namely the Seattle region, Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee. According to the sources of knowledge, the Housing Equity Fund will provide capital at lesser rates than the market in terms of grants, low-cost loans, and lines of credit for supporting families earning between 30% and 80% of the median income across each area.

In addition, this funding will provide $125 million in grants to public agencies and minority-led organizations for promoting the inclusive affordable housing solutions.

Reportedly, presence of large tech companies can heighten the cost of living in the surrounding areas of the offices. Amazon in this regard is following the suite of companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google while focusing on such issues. Apparently, all the three companies have committed at least $1 billion to address the affordable housing issue in California. Besides, Microsoft has also pledged $750 million to ease the housing crisis in the Seattle region.

For the record, last year, Amazon had helped Mary's Place, a non-profit organization providing homeless services, to open a shelter for the homeless at its Seattle campus after committing $100 million funding for the project. However, the company had refrained from accepting the Seattle tax proposition which would have supported affordable housing projects and the homeless population.

In 2018, Amazon announced its plans of building new headquarters in Long Island City, New York. According to the credible reports, the location on which the company planned to build the offices had been assigned for residential development, which would have included nearly 1,500 affordable housing units. Amazon withdrew the project amid considerable backlash from politicians and residents.

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