SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon said Tuesday it will spend more than $120 million to build affordable-housing units close to transit stations near Seattle and Washington, D.C, the latest example of a tech company trying to address the affordable housing crisis critics say the industry has exacerbated.
Amazon said it is working with Sound Transit and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to construct a total of 1,060 homes near four public transit sites. The Washington state sites are in SeaTac and Bellevue. The other sites are Maryland in the cities of New Carrollton and College Park.
Amazon is building out another corporate hub in Arlington, Virginia, and is expanding operations in Bellevue, near its Seattle headquarters.
“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," Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, said in a statement.
That funding comes from a commitment Amazon made in January 2021 to launch its Housing Equity Fund, a $2 billion initiative to preserve and create 20,000 affordable homes.
Microsoft has said it will spend at least $750 million toward affordable housing in the Seattle area following years of complaints that the tech boom had worsened the problem as salaries in the sector and housing prices escalated.