ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — On Tuesday, Amazon announced a $3 million gift to improve access to affordable housing for their new neighbors in Arlington County.
The gift donated to the Arlington Community Foundation will be used to fund support programs that maintain and create housing options for low-income individuals and families. CEO, Jennifer Owens says the funds will be used in multiple ways.
“It’s a very huge crisis. I think anyone who lives in our region recognizes that,” Owens said. “A $3 million investment is enough to help us with the brick and mortar work which is building and constructing new affordable housing or buying down rent on existing housing but also the support of that keeps people in affordable housing,” she added.
More than 9,000 households in Arlington are living on an annual income of $35,000 or less, according to a county analysis. In a statement, Amazon’s Senior Vice-President of Global Corporate Affairs said the community foundation was chosen because of their work and progress on housing stability and helping families improve their quality of life.
“Arlington Community Foundation is an organization that serves as a donor to lots of different Arlington non-profits so they really have their finger on the pulse of the areas of greatest need,” Christian Dorsey, Chair of the county board said.
He explained that the funds will help make sure affordable housing is available for residents at various incomes.
“We have people who are earning incomes even up to $100,000 who have a difficult time finding housing when it’s in such scarce supply particularly in moderately priced housing,” Dorsey explained.
On Tuesday, Amazon also launched an employee match campaign to encourage employees to donate to 20 select nonprofits addressing housing and homelessness in the company’s two headquarter regions. Amazon will match the donation one-for-one, up to 5 million dollars, through September 30.
The select nonprofits include:
El Centro de la Raza
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Compass Housing Alliance
Wellspring Family Services
Wesley Housing Development Corporation