In brief: Amazon is a company with a hand in just about every industry, but it’s seeking to add another to its portfolio now: real estate. Courtesy of the retail giant’s new Housing Equity Fund, Amazon will build $2 billion worth of “inclusive housing developments” that will be both affordable and convenient (with closer proximity to local services) for residents.
Amazon says the money, and the housing it will help fund will benefit “moderate-to-low-income” families and individuals in three key locations: Washington’s Puget Sound region, as well as Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Amazon considers all of these communities “home,” and thus feels a sense of responsibility toward them. “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,” the company said in a statement. “It will also help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong, inclusive communities.”
Some of the Housing Equity Fund’s cash is already spoken for. Amazon plans to funnel about $380 million worth of below-market loans and grants to the Washington Housing Conservancy, and another $185 million is going toward the King County Housing Authority.
All of the organizations that Amazon ultimately hands out money to will have different strategies for using it. The WHC, for example, will use the cash to preserve existing homes to ensure they stay affordable, whereas the KCHA will use it to complete “acquisition financing” on 470 recently-acquired affordable housing units.
Whether you like Amazon’s global tech dominance or not, the company does use its deep coffers for good from time to time. We’re just happy to see that happening again here.