Amazon provided an additional $1.5 million donation to the affordable housing nonprofit The Housing Fund to support housing residents in Nashville, Tennessee who have been impacted by events over the past two years—including tax increases. Through this additional funding, The Housing Fund aims to further support local residents by easing the increased tax burdens on eligible landlords who are committed to maintaining affordable housing and might otherwise increase rent in response.. This donation is in addition to Amazon’s first contribution to The Housing Fund of $2.25 million in 2020, which established The Housing Resiliency Fund, a program within the nonprofit aimed at supporting qualified homeowners with property tax relief.
"Amazon’s latest contribution will enable The Housing Resiliency Fund to expand its reach to help landlords of small multifamily and naturally occurring affordable housing dwellings of 50 units or less," said Marshall Crawford, president & CEO of The Housing Fund. "As their taxes go up, landlords also need relief so the burden is not passed on to tenants. These tenants are people who need to stay in their homes. We have been able to help hundreds of families so far and hope to continue that progress with Amazon’s support."
Earlier this year, Nashville Mayor John Cooper convened an affordable housing task force that determined that the Nashville region’s projected population growth rate will require more than 53,000 new homes by 2030. To meet this goal, the task force recommended that the city preserve affordable housing stock and prioritize preservation of expiring subsidized and naturally occurring affordable housing. The task force’s report also found that this support could even incentivize landlords to invest in the upkeep of their properties and keep them affordable.
With this latest donation from Amazon, The Housing Resiliency Fund expands its support—beyond the originally designated homeowner support—and provides funding to help eligible landlords. It also continues to make payments to mortgage companies and the Metro government on behalf of qualified homeowners to help mitigate the impact of rising housing costs. Since establishing The Housing Resiliency Fund last year, Amazon’s donations have helped 412 households pay property taxes and remain in their homes, 76% of which are households of color and 74% of which make less than 80% of Nashville’s Area Median Income (AMI). This translates to less than $68,000 annually for a family of four—and less than $48,000 for an individual. Through The Housing Resiliency Fund, the majority of recipients have received a commitment for five years of support.
“I lost my job and have been applying to jobs,” said Nahla Shalan, Nashville resident and The Housing Resiliency Fund grant recipient. “I was the source of income for my family and didn’t know how I would support my children. I really appreciate the way Amazon and The Housing Fund are trying to help people during this hard time. I can’t lose my home, I already lost my job.”
“Financial challenges of late continue to weigh heavily on the residents of Nashville,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “We are committed to helping them feel relief and assurance knowing that they can stay in their homes. We look forward to expanding our impact in the region even further by supporting our neighbors in keeping their communities stable, safe, and sustainable places to live.”
“We know that housing stability is tightly interwoven with job stability, school success, and decreasing dependence on social services. Providing landlords with a way to absorb higher taxes from rising property values can help keep rents affordable for the vulnerable populations who need that most,” said Council Member Burkley Allen, At-Large, Nashville Metropolitan Council. “I am thankful for Amazon’s commitment to affordable housing and their additional contribution to the Housing Resiliency Fund.”
Amazon’s partnership with The Housing Resiliency Fund is part of Amazon’s commitment to housing affordability initiatives in the communities where its employees live and work. Amazon launched the Housing Equity Fund in January 2021—a more than $2 billion commitment to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable housing units in the Puget Sound region in Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. These are three communities where the company has a large and growing presence.
The Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s first commitment in Nashville consisted of $75 million in low-rate loans for developers to create 800 affordable homes in Nashville near WeGo transit corridors. Most recently, Amazon launched an accelerator program across all three locations, which offers professional development, mentorship, and early grant funding to emerging developers of color to help increase inclusive housing developments and community building. Locally, the accelerator program has partnered with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee.
Since announcing a new office in Nashville in 2018, Amazon has created more than 2,500 corporate and technology jobs in the city—halfway towards our goal of 5,000 jobs—and is also committed to supporting the local community with contributions and delivery service for local food banks. Amazon Future Engineer supports more than 240 schools statewide, including Nashville schools, with a high-quality computer science curriculum, robotics clubs, and/or educator professional learning.