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Amazon uses affordable housing as lobbying and PR effort

Jeff Bezos (Credit: Getty Images)

Amazon said it would commit more than $2 billion to create and preserve affordable housing in three of its employment hubs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The e-commerce giant intends to invest in the three regions where it’s a major employer: Seattle, Arlington, Va., and Nashville, Tenn.

  • Dig Deeper: The bulk of its investment will be through low-cost loans to preserve or build affordable housing. Amazon also will offer grants to public agencies and minority-led housing organizations.

Affordable housing in vogue: 

  • Google has committed $1 billion toward Bay Area housing.
  • Apple pledged $2.5 billion for housing throughout California.
  • Microsoft has committed $750 million in the Seattle area.
  • Facebook also pledged $1 billion in and around Silicon Valley. 

An expensive lobbying and PR effort: Amazon doesn’t expect to make money from these housing investments. The efforts come as the big tech companies face scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over their business practices. [WSJ]

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