Amazon makes $340M commitment to Arlington affordable housing
Commitment will increase housing options near HQ2
Amazon.com Inc. announced Wednesday that it is committing nearly $340 million to affordable housing efforts in Arlington, where the e-commerce giant is establishing its $2.5 billion East Coast HQ2 headquarters.
This is part of the company’s $2 billion commitment to affordable housing, the Housing Equity Fund, which was announced Wednesday. The remaining funding will go toward affordable housing in other highly-concentrated Amazon areas, including Washington state’s Puget Sound region and Nashville. Funding will go toward preserving existing affordable housing and creating housing developments with below-market loans and grants.
Amazon’s Virginia commitment includes a $339.9 million below-market loan and $42 million in grants to the Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC), a nonprofit organization that preserves affordable housing. The Arlington commitment is aimed at establishing as many 1,300 affordable homes. During the next decade, it is anticipated that Amazon will hire approximately 25,000 employees in the National Landing area in Arlington.
“With Amazon’s support, we are advancing our vision for inclusive, mixed-income communities of racially diverse middle-income and low-income families and individuals, to live near their employment and access high-performing schools and community amenities,” WHC Executive Director Kimberly Driggins said in a statement.
Since 2000, Arlington County has lost approximately 14,400 affordable housing units, according to Arlington County government, and between 2010 and 2018, median home values rose approximately 20%. With Amazon funding, WHC purchased the Crystal House property in Arlington, which will be turned into “more affordable apartments,” according to Amazon. JBG Smith will manage the property.
“Amazon’s investment in affordable housing in Arlington is transformational — and couldn’t come at a better time,” Arlington County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said in a statement. “We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Amazon and to work together to serve our shared commitment to equity and economic opportunity for all of our residents.”