“The FCRHA has long held that to increase the county’s stock of affordable housing at the scale to which we are striving for requires a communitywide approach that includes public housing authorities, all levels of government, nonprofit and faith communities, residential developers, corporate citizens, advocates, residents and more. Amazon’s leadership and example as a corporate contributor in the affordable housing arena in our region provides an outstanding indicator of what can be accomplished – both in terms of the development and preservation of affordable housing – through this collective effort. It further fuels our optimism that the lofty goals we have set to address the urgent need for safe, high-quality, and affordable housing throughout our community can and will be achieved as we work towards these solutions together.”
- Melissa McKenna, Chairman Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority
The following was reported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
Amazon.com is awarding more than $163 million in loans and grants to 12 developers working on 11 affordable housing projects in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland, the company said Wednesday, the Washington Business Journal reported. Amazon’s commitment will create or preserve 1,571 housing units, kept affordable long-term, which, in most cases, is 99 years. Four of the developments are located within one block of a Metro station. The recipients include Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, which will receive a $2 million grant to acquire 18 homes in the Colchester Towne Condominiums in the Fairfax County area of Alexandria. These homes, located at 7988 Audubon Ave., will be preserved as affordable for households earning 50 percent of the area median income.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay commented on Facebook: “Congratulations to Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services on receiving $2 million from Amazon—the largest single donation in Good Shepherd Housing’s history! Their vital mission is to provide high quality, affordable, stable housing to those who otherwise would have difficulty accessing it. With this gift, Good Shepherd Housing will acquire 18 condominium homes in southeastern Fairfax, preserving them for those making 50 percent AMI. Thank you to Amazon and to Good Shepherd Housing for all the work you do for our community.”
Catherine Buell, Amazon’s director of Amazon Housing Equity Fund for Amazon in the Community, said that the organization has now surpassed its goal of 1,000 affordable units in Washington, D.C. She said her team also selected projects led by developers of color immersed in communities throughout the region where affordable housing is most needed. “By working with these diverse development organizations, we can create long-lasting and inclusive affordable housing closer to public transit and other amenities that will improve quality of life for residents,” Buell said at a news conference Wednesday, reported the Washington Post. “We’ll also help ensure families across Washington, D.C. are not displaced from their communities.”
Amazon launched the Housing Equity Fund — a $2 billion commitment to preserve and build 20,000 affordable homes in its three hub regions — in January 2021. Since then, it’s committed more than $992 million in loans and grants to create or preserve more than 6,200 affordable homes in the greater Washington, D.C. region.
- Reported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority