While only government can solve the affordability issues, corporate America plays a vital role in enriching its communities. Amazon’s belief is that all people should have access to housing they can afford. Low-income and minority families are disproportionately affected by an affordable housing shortage in the U.S. While only governments at the local, state, and federal level have the capacity to implement more effective housing policies, Amazon believes the private and public sectors can work together to address this challenge. And, in locations where we have a sizable presence, Amazon will invest directly in efforts where our financial support will make a difference.
In June 2021, Amazon announced a $300 million commitment to partner with public transit agencies and support the creation of 3,000 new affordable homes near high-capacity public transit areas across the Fund’s three focus geographies. As of August 2022, over 1,200 new affordable units have already entered the pre-construction or construction phase of development.
A key goal of the Fund is to support both minority-led developers and minority-led local nonprofits. To date, Amazon Housing Equity Fund has committed over $760 million to create or preserve over 4,500 affordable homes in partnership with minority-led organizations.
The affordable housing developments that are supported by the Amazon Housing Equity Fund are focused on low- to moderate-income households earning 30% to 80% of area median income (AMI),—first responders, teachers, health care workers, and others who don’t quality for subsidies but whose wages haven’t kept pace with escalating rents.
Housing policy choices are highly local in nature and housing markets are regional, but very few states have statewide housing efforts. That’s why its important for the federal government to lead a new, more inclusive approach to housing by eliminating barriers to housing and boosting access to capital for housing development. States and localities can then work with private industry and non-profit advocates to focus on the unique drivers of housing underproduction in their areas. Together they can develop tailored solutions to increase the availability and affordability of housing.