Affordable housing investments in two new residential buildings are among Amazon’s first from its $300 million transit-oriented development commitment
In 14 months, Amazon has committed more than $344.3 million in Puget Sound to create and preserve more than 2,800 affordable homes for residents in the region\Amazon’s investments have increased affordable housing units by 20% in Bellevue in one year
SEATTLE–Mar. 15, 2022– Today Amazon announced it will invest more than $42.5 million to build 318 affordable homes adjacent to public transit sites, and it will work in partnership with Sound Transit, the transit system serving the Central Puget Sound region of Washington state, to complete the housing developments. The deals stem from Amazon’s $300 million transit commitment from 2021 to create 3,000 new affordable homes in collaboration with the transit agencies in Amazon’s three hometown communities of Washington state’s Puget Sound region; the Arlington, Virginia region; and Nashville, Tennessee.
“The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is tackling the affordable housing crisis on multiple fronts and through innovative solutions, such as teaming up with public transit authorities, which brings people closer to more opportunities, services, and a better quality of life,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion commitment to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in communities it calls home. “We know that our investment in these areas brings many economic opportunities for residents in the region, but we also acknowledge that this growth needs to benefit everyone in the community. The progress we have made in our first year is promising, but we have more to do.”
Last year, Amazon committed $100 million in low-rate funding to developers to help create and expedite the development of up to 1,200 new affordable housing units on Sound Transit property, connecting communities to jobs, services, and resources that allow them to remain in their cities and preserve the region’s diversity and culture. Since launching the Amazon Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon has committed more than $344.3 million in loans and grants for the Puget Sound region to create and preserve 2,870 affordable homes. Based on data provided by the City of Bellevue, through its efforts in the past year, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has increased the long-term multifamily affordable housing stock in Bellevue by 20%. The new housing commitments announced in partnership with Sound Transit today include:
- Spring District/120th Station: In partnership with Sound Transit and BRIDGE Housing, Amazon is helping to create 233 new-construction affordable apartments in Bellevue, Washington near a new light rail station that is scheduled to open in 2023. Amazon is funding a $25.8 million low-rate loan commitment and predevelopment grant to BRIDGE Housing, a nonprofit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing. BRIDGE Housing has teamed up with YMCA of Greater Seattle for youth and family services at the property.
- Angle Lake Station: In partnership with Sound Transit and Mercy Housing Northwest, Amazon is helping to create a minimum of 85 new construction affordable apartments located next to the light rail station in the City of SeaTac, Washington, which is near high-quality transit, jobs, parks, and schools. The property will be constructed with high-quality sustainable construction materials and methods to ensure sustainability and energy efficiency—thus providing savings to residents while minimizing environmental impact. Amazon is funding a $16.7 million low-rate loan commitment and predevelopment grant to Mercy Housing Northwest. Mercy Housing Northwest will in turn partner with The Arc of King County, a nonprofit which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to provide onsite resident services.
“The scale that Amazon has gone to in order to create and preserve affordable housing in our region makes a real difference,” said BellevueMayor Lynne Robinson. “Their commitment is bringing much needed affordability and accessibility to Bellevue residents.”
Since the launch of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon has invested more than $1.2 billion to create or preserve over 8,000 affordable homes for families earning between 30%-80% of area median income (AMI), including first responders, teachers, and service-industry employees whose wages haven’t kept pace with escalating rents. For each Amazon-funded affordable home, rents will be maintained at levels affordable for low- and moderate-income families (generally 98 to 99 years), and rents will only rise with wage growth as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As real estate prices have continued to rise, this commitment will save affected families thousands of dollars annually. Based on the average rental household size in the zip codes of funded Amazoninitiatives, the affordable homes will support an estimated 18,000 people across all three regions, nearly a quarter of whom are children. All 8,000 units are, or will be, within a 10-minute walk to public transit centers, ensuring affordability for moderate- to low-income families to live near—and benefit from—quality public transit.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.