“Amazon” announced that it has pledged two billion dollars to help create more affordable housing in the area surrounding its second headquarters near the US capital and other centers of the company. The new “Housing Equity Fund” will provide grants and less-than-market loans to housing partners, public agencies and minority-led organizations, after it faced criticism over the impact of its new headquarters on housing.
The company explained that the first payment of $ 567 million will help establish 1,300 affordable apartments near the new “Amazon” headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and up to 1,000 units near its headquarters in the Seattle area of Washington.
And “Amazon” expects to employ about 25 thousand employees at its center in Virginia, on the side of the Potomac River in Washington. They were chosen after a stormy search process where the communities discussed their impact on the local economy and other factors.
Some of the new money will also go to Nashville, Tennessee, another area where Amazon expects to add at least 5,000 jobs over the coming years.
“Amazon has long been committed to helping people in need, including the Maryse Place family shelter that we set up in one of the headquarters,” said the company’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. “This new fund will create or maintain 20,000 affordable homes in all of our three headquarters areas – Arlington, Puget Sound and Nashville. It will also help families achieve long-term stability while building strong and inclusive communities.”
Amazon targets households that make between 30% and 80% of the average income. In Washington, DC, this translates to a family of 4 earning less than $ 79,600 a year and less than $ 95,250 in Seattle.