Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) continues to expand his horizons and the number of pies he puts his finger in.

The e-commerce giant has announced the creation of a $ 2 billion fund to build more than 20,000 affordable homes in the Puget Sound area of ​​Washington state. Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Image source: Getty Images.

Called Housing Equity Fund, Amazon says the program will provide below-market capital to “housing partners, traditional and non-traditional public agencies and minority-led organizations” in the form of loans, lines of credit and grants.

The initial communities that Amazon chooses for investment are important to the company because its regional headquarters are located in each of them. It plans to employ at least 5,000 workers at each site in the coming years.

The first tranche of aid will amount to more than $ 567 million near Amazon’s new offices in Arlington, where up to 1,300 affordable housing units will be created. Another 1,000 units will be built near its Seattle headquarters.

According to the announcement, Amazon targets households earning between 30% and 80% of a region’s median income, so for the Washington, DC metro area, four-person households earning less than $ 79,600 per year would qualify. just like those earning less than $ 95,250 in the Seattle area.

The program is an outgrowth of initiatives Amazon has already undertaken, such as donating more than $ 19 million to support people at risk of eviction due to the pandemic in the DC area; over $ 100 million to Mary’s Place, a Seattle-based nonprofit focused on addressing family homelessness; and $ 2.25 million donated to The Housing Fund, a nonprofit in Nashville.

At the start of the pandemic, Amazon launched several programs centered around its Seattle headquarters, such as delivery of coronavirus test kits for free and by launching a $ 5 million small business loan fund.

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