Amazon announced on Thursday that it will spend $23 million to build affordable housing in Seattle as part of its Housing Equity Fund.
The move comes as the tech industry has been accused of making the affordable housing crisis worse as tech salaries in the area have caused housing prices to increase dramatically. The funds will go to minority-led organizations in the area to build or preserve more than 500 new units.
“When our city’s businesses and private partners step up, like Amazon is doing through this significant investment, we can accelerate progress addressing difficult challenges like housing affordability,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a news release announcing the investment.
Amazon pledged $124 million to support affordable housing near Seattle and Washington D.C. in March. Amazon commited to its Housing Equity Fund in January 2021 and plans to spend $2 billion all together.
The fund has so far invested more than $1.2 billion where the company has offices in Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; 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,” Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, said in a statement in March.
Amazon added in the statement that it believes that its investment in these areas will help bring economic opportunities to people in need.