Amazon Financing Affordable Transit-Oriented Housing Near its New Headquarters

The company announced a $125 million investment in housing near Metro stations in northern Virginia, where the promise of jobs at its new Arlington headquarters sparked rising demand for housing.

June 23, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Metrorail Station Area

Joseph Gruber / Shutterstock

Amazon has announced it will contribute $125 million to financing affordable housing near Metro stations in the Washington, D.C. area, reports Libby Solomon for Greater Greater Washington. "The goal is to build 1,000 affordable, transit-accessible units over the next five years, according to a press release."

The money will be used to finance joint transit-oriented developments and "is part of Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund, which the company launched in January. Other projects under that umbrella include Crystal House, an 825-unit apartment building that Amazon helped the nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy purchase to preserve affordable housing." 

Meanwhile, housing advocates blame the e-commerce giant and other tech giants for exacerbating the housing crisis and rising income inequality. Dain Evans writes, "Tech companies are disproportionately hiring white and Asian male-identified individuals for tech jobs, leaving lower-wage jobs for mostly Black and Latinx individuals," while housing costs continue to rise. In the Washington area, demand for housing spiked as Amazon opened its new headquarters in Arlington. "The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments estimated in 2019 that the region will need 320,000 new housing units by 2030, and unmet demand has sent prices sky-high."

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