Amazon Sets Up An Affordable Housing Fund But does not Improve its Terms of Employment

The e-commerce giant has announced that it is setting up a $ 2 billion fund to build and preserve some 20,000 homes and allocate them for affordable housing in three areas across the U.S. The initiative comes amid growing criticism of the company’s attitude toward warehouse workers and its logistics.

After being severely criticized for its treatment of employees, Amazon announced yesterday (Wednesday) the establishment of a new fund totaling over $ 2 billion that aims to build and preserve about 20,000 homes and allocate them for affordable housing in three areas in the US.

Since 2012, house prices have climbed more than 6% each year, despite lower salary growth rates for most workers. Before the Corona, rental rates were also on the rise, leading to a shortage of affordable middle-class homes.

The problem was particularly pronounced in San Francisco, where the rapidly evolving technology industry was blamed for raising prices and creating a housing crisis. As a result, in 2019, major technology companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google, pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help ease the crisis. For example, in June, Google announced that it would donate $ 1 billion to new housing infrastructure near its headquarters in Mountain View, California. Efforts were welcomed, but experts stressed that more comprehensive measures were needed.

Amazon, which has come under heavy criticism for its treatment of employees as revenues soared during the plague, announced that its initiative would focus on the areas around Seattle where the company was founded, as well as Nashville and Washington, D.C. – two other major corporate centers.

According to the company, the fund will focus on assisting families earning up to 80% of the annual median salary in each area – an amount of up to $ 95,000 for a family of 4 people in Seattle. In addition to subsidizing loans on good terms for homes, the company also intends to donate to charities and other organizations that address the housing problem.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the new fund “will help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong and inclusive communities.”

 

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