Amazon launched a new pilot initiative in partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT) to help individuals and families from underserved communities become homeowners in three locations—Washington state’s Puget Sound; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. Amazon is investing $40 million to help moderate-income individuals and families purchase homes as a pathway for building generational wealth.
This initiative is part of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund (HEF), a program that launched in 2021 that has helped create or preserve more than 14,000 homes with guaranteed affordable rents across the three focus communities. This is HEF’s first effort aimed at homeownership.
NHT, a nonprofit focused on making affordable homes available to help advance racial equity and reduce economic disparity, will use the funds to acquire and build affordable homes for sale, in partnership with a network of local organizations. Through this initiative, Amazon expects to provide access to homeownership for up to 800 individuals and families, the majority of them making below 80% of the area median income. The Amazon Housing Equity Fund has historically focused on rental properties—this initiative seeks to make it more affordable for historically underserved residents to purchase homes.
“Historically, those who are able to own homes are more likely to experience long-term economic stability, while those who can’t are more likely to struggle financially,” said Senthil Sankaran, managing principal at the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “This new initiative will allow us to explore ways to help more moderate-income residents realize their dreams of homeownership and, in turn, help build wealth that they can pass on to the next generation.”
Amazon’s new initiative will support a range of innovative homeownership models, including community land trusts, a model where the land itself will be owned and stewarded by nonprofits and community-based organizations, and where residents will own their physical homes. Removing the cost of the land from the total cost of the home allows the price of homes to stay affordable, stabilizing families in their communities.
“As a leader in affordable homeownership lending, we are excited to partner with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund,” said Priya Jayachandran, CEO of the National Housing Trust. “This partnership is unique because Amazon’s support will enable us to create new, innovative pathways to ownership that will transform people’s lives.”
A photo of a little girl and older woman hugging in front of an apartment in Washington, D.C. Residents at a cookout at the Savannah Apartments in Washington, D.C.Photo by Douglass Community Land Trust
Since its launch, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has committed more than $1.7 billion to create or preserve affordable homes for renters across the company’s hometown communities. The fund focuses on low-to-moderate income individuals and families, representing first responders, teachers, and service industry employees whose wages haven’t kept pace with escalating rents and housing costs.
Learn more about how the Amazon Housing Equity Fund is helping to address the U.S. housing affordability challenges.