• By The Financial District

AMAZON TO INVEST $2B TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES IN 3 U.S. CITIES

Amazon is pledging to invest more than $2 billion over the next five years toward affordable housing in three cities where it has major operations, Anna Bahney reported for CNN Business.

The tech giant's new Housing Equity Fund will invest in moderate- to low-income housing around Seattle, Nashville and Arlington, Virginia, where the company ultimately expects to have at least 5,000 employees each.


"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," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, in a statement.


"It will also help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong, inclusive communities."


The first investment of more than $567 million will go toward 1,300 affordable apartment units near "HQ2," Amazon's new Virginia headquarters, and up to 1,000 apartments near its Seattle, Washington headquarters.


In Arlington, Amazon said it has invested $381.9 million in loans offered at below market rates, as well as grants to Washington Housing Conservancy that will go toward 1,300 affordable homes on the Crystal House property near HQ2.


And in Washington, Amazon's investment of $185.5 million went to the King County Housing Authority to preserve up to 1,000 affordable homes. in Bellevue. Amazon has been criticized in the past for gentrifying the areas where it has opened large operations and driving up the cost of housing.



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