Amazon is committing $10.6 million to build and renovate 130 affordable homes in Nashville, Tennessee, bringing the total investment in the city to about $100 million.
Amazon Housing Equity Fund will allocate a $7.1 million low-rate loan to Cherry Oak Apartments, a mixed-income 96-unit residential apartment with 53 affordable units, in partnership with the Metropolitan Development Housing Agency, Amazon said. The fund will also provide a $3.5 million grant to local nonprofit CrossBridge‘s 84-unit housing project, where 50 units will be newly built and the other 34 units renovated.
“The city’s growth, the impacts of the pandemic, and various other factors affect the availability of affordable housing,” Michelle Brown, Amazon’s Nashville manager of public policy, said in a statement. Brown added the firm will continue expanding its Nashville office of more than 2,500 employees.
Families living in the affordable units at Cherry Oak will have guaranteed affordability at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) for 99 years, according to Amazon. The grant for CrossBridge’s project that provides housing and supportive services to adults overcoming addiction, allows affordable rents for tenants and provides long-term subsidies, the firm added.
The Amazon Housing Equity Fund, created in January 2021, committed to investing $2 billion to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable housing units earning between 30% and 80% of AMI in Washington State’s Puget Sound region, Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Since the fund’s launch, Amazon has committed more than $795 million in loans and grants for the Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C. region to create and preserve more than 4,400 affordable homes. The Washington Post, in a recent article, however, pointed out only 6% of the Amazon-funded units are for renters who make 50% or less of the AMI. For the program to be effective, Amazon must extend its targets to the lowest-income renters, including minimum wage workers, who make 30% or less of the AMI, the article added.
An estimated 140,000 renovated properties purchased at foreclosure auction or bank-owned auction were resold to owner-occupant buyers between January 2020 and December 2021
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Over the past two years, Amazon gave Puget Sound developments more than $344.3 million in loans and gave $94 million to Nashville. After the launching of the Housing Equity Fund, the firm announced plans to invest $75 million to create 800 affordable homes near WeGo transit corridors in Nashville.