Amazon will spend millions to help low- and middle-income families buy their first homes in the D.C. region, the company announced Wednesday, extending its multibillion-dollar affordable housing effort to a development strategy that has traditionally seen little public or corporate investment.
The undertaking is part of a $40 million initiative that executives said is meant to help boost homeownership among “underserved groups” in the D.C., Seattle and Nashville areas. The tech giant maintains large footprints in these three increasingly expensive regions, and activists and government officials have worried an influx of well-paid tech employees will make a housing shortage even worse — to the point that it could push out longtime residents.
Working with the nonprofit National Housing Trust (NHT), the company said it will give housing developers or local organizations grants to come up with strategies on how to create “affordable homeownership” opportunities. Then, the housing trust and Amazon will offer those organizations loans to build or preserve housing units set aside for low- and middle-income families.