Amazon is reportedly investing $23 million to increase Seattle’s affordable housing. The hugely successful company said that it’s giving minority-led organizations $23 million to build and preserve more than 568 affordable homes in Seattle. The company says this is a step to ease the local housing crisis.
Amazon has an equity fund that is focused on housing. The Amazon Housing Equity Fund supports households that earn 30% to 80% of the median income of an area. The fund was launched in 2021. It has provided $1.2 billion for over 8,000 affordable homes across the Puget Sound region in Washington state, the Arlington, Virginia region and Nashville, Tennessee.
Amazon’s housing partners are the Mount Baker Housing Authority (MBHA), El Centro de la Raza, and Gardner Global. The fund said it focuses on neighborhoods with large populations of people of color.
Microsoft, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, has also provided housing funds in the area. The Puget Sound region in Washington State hosts offices for tech firms like Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
Amazon is often blamed for increasing the cost of home ownership locally. For instance, the housing price in Bellevue surpasses Manhattan, after Amazon expanded its towers into the Seattle suburb.
“We are committed to helping address the housing crisis in the Puget Sound region, which is disproportionally affecting communities of color,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “In supporting these projects, we are focusing on equity by not only increasing access to affordable housing but also being intentional about whom we select as development partners.”