Amazon announced today a series of commitments, totalling $300 million, towards the development of transit-oriented affordable housing units in several U.S. cities. According to the company, the investments will enable the creation of approximately 3,000 new affordable housing units on land owned by transit agencies or privately owned land in close proximity to public transit.
Amazon’s investments are being made from its $2 billion Housing Equity Fund. Launched earlier this year, the fund aims to preserve existing housing and create inclusive housing developments through below-market loans and grants to housing partners, traditional and non-traditional public agencies, and minority-led organizations. Housing Equity is one of Amazon’s key public positions.
The new investments include commitments of $125 million in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, $100 million in the Puget Sound region, and $75 million in the Nashville, Tennessee area. In Washington, Amazon is partnering with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), aiming to create more than 1,000 new affordable housing units at Metro station across the region. In Puget Sound, the company is partnering with Sound Transit to accelerate the creation of up to 1,200 new affordable housing units on Sound Transit surplus properties near light rail stations. In Nashville, Amazon’s commitment includes below-market capital for developers to create 800 affordable homes in the area near WeGo high-capacity transit corridors.
Jay Carney, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, said:
“Transportation and housing costs account for a significant portion of the average person’s expenses. By investing $300 million of Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund in transit-oriented housing development, moderate- to low-income families in Puget Sound, Arlington, and Nashville will be able to reduce their expenditures on housing while gaining easy transit to jobs and amenities. We hope this will pave a path for more inclusive communities.”