Amazon Commits $160M to Virginia Affordable Housing
This funding will preserve a 1,300-unit community in Arlington.
Amazon has committed $160 million to help preserve 1,334 units of affordable housing within the Barcroft Apartment community in Arlington, Va. The financing comes from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund and will be provided as low-rate loans to an affiliate of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, who is acquiring the community. The community is currently owned by Thomas DeLashmutt, according to Yardi Matrix data.
Alongside Amazon’s commitment, the Arlington County Board has committed to a $150 million loan to support Jair Lynch’s acquisition that is expected to be finalized later this month. The funding from both the county and Amazon will go towards keeping the Barcroft Apartments affordable for 99 years, as well as supporting the new ownership’s undertaking of immediate repairs, additional amenities, property upgrades and other overall improvements.
Catherine Buell, director of Amazon Housing Equity Fund, said in prepared remarks that the affordable housing shortage in this region has been a chronic challenge. According to Amazon, the 60-acre Barcroft Apartment asset is known as one of the last affordable apartment communities in Arlington.
The 1,334-unit community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans starting at 582 square feet. The community is also reserved for those making up to 60 percent AMI, which is $77,400 for a family of four in Arlington in 2021. Located at 1130 S. George Mason Drive, the community is located less than 3 miles away from Amazon’s second headquarters.
With the new funding, rents will remain at their current level for the first year. Afterwards, any future rent increases will not be able to exceed a three percent increase each year. Overall, the community will also be kept at the 60 percent AMI threshold.
AMAZON’S PUSH FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
In addition to the funds provided to the Barcroft Apartments, Amazon has made more than $500 million in commitments through its Housing Equity Fund. These commitments were made through low-rate loans and grants that have been used to create or preserve up to 2,300 affordable units in the Arlington region, according to Amazon.
Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund that was announced in January isn’t limited to only the Arlington area. The e-commerce giant’s fund has also provided acquisition financing to the nonprofit Bellwether Housing who is planning to convert two communities totaling 213 units in King County, Wash., into affordable housing. Earlier in the year, Amazon also said it has committed more than $300 million towards transit-oriented developments that would create approximately 3,000 units of affordable housing in the Washington, D.C. area, the Puget Sound region in Washington state and in Nashville.