Amazon to put $2B into affordable housing

Company will build in its hubs, where it has been said to drive up costs

National /
Jan.January 06, 2021 09:02 AM
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Getty; iStock)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Getty; iStock)

When Amazon planned to build a corporate headquarters in New York City, opponents claimed the influx of high-paying jobs would drive up housing prices, just as it had in the company’s base, Seattle. The argument helped defeat the project.

Two years later, Amazon is pledging to plow more than $2 billion into affordable housing where its employment hubs are, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Amazon will make the investments and donations over the next five years in Seattle, Nashville and Arlington, Virginia. The e-commerce giant has more than 75,000 workers in the Seattle area and plans to have at least 5,000 employees in the other two regions in the next five years.

The money will come in the form of low-cost loans to preserve or build affordable housing, and in grants to public agencies and minority-led housing organizations.

“We don’t have control over how the [housing] markets respond to a large employer coming into the market or expanding in the market, but we can play a role in how Amazon’s growth is impacting our local communities,” Catherine Buell, head of community development for one of Amazon’s philanthropic arms, told the Journal. “Particularly as we’re expanding our corporate presence, we’re working to get ahead of the issue as much as we can.”

Other tech companies have made similar moves, including Alphabet’s Google, which has committed $1 billion toward Bay Area housing, and Apple, which is spending $2.5 billion for housing throughout California.

Housing advocates have said that while the contributions are welcome, they will not move the needle much and are not a substitute for policy reform by states and localities to curb housing costs.

[WSJ] — Sasha Jones


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
Big Tech locations in NYC
MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
From left: 80 Columbus Circle with Robert Stiller and 737 Park Avenue with Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Photos via Google Maps, Agnovos, State of Qatar, Godsfriendchuck/Wikimedia)
Mandarin Oriental, 737 Park units sell at substantial losses
Mandarin Oriental, 737 Park units sell at substantial losses
Steve Cohen and 151 East 158th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Steve Cohen’s $30M condo sells above asking — after a 74% cut
Steve Cohen’s $30M condo sells above asking — after a 74% cut
Nicole Oge, Casa Blanca founders Hannah Bomze and Erez Zaurer (Getty, Casa Blanca)
Former Elliman, WeWork marketing chief joins “Bumble for homes” startup
Former Elliman, WeWork marketing chief joins “Bumble for homes” startup
470 Broome Street  and Rayo Withanage (Photos via Saltzman Architects, P.C. and Withanage)
From Picasso’s estate to squatting in Soho: The 470 Broome Street affair
From Picasso’s estate to squatting in Soho: The 470 Broome Street affair
Tenants are singing longer leases to lock in low rent. (Getty)
Tenants locking in longer leases as apartment rents rise
Tenants locking in longer leases as apartment rents rise
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...