Amazon announces major investment in affordable housing near Metro stations

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld speaks at a news conference at a construction site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

A new investment in the D.C.-area from Amazon includes millions of dollars toward affordable housing near Metro stations.

The online retail giant announced Wednesday that it is teaming up with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on the new project.

Amazon will spend $125 million dollars to create 1,000 affordable housing units near Metro stations across the D.C. area.

“Living near transit should not be out of reach for low and middle income families,” said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld at a news conference at a construction site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday.

Amazon has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the area as it readies to open a second headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia.

The money will go to joint development partners identified by WMATA.

Out of the total, $25 million will be exclusively for minority-led developers.

Applications are being accepted now.

Catherine Buell, head of community development for Amazon, told WTOP that said she’s ready to see applications now.

“Our goal is to identify projects where we can get units built in the next five years,” Buell said. “We really see our commitment as an accelerator for work that WMATA has already been doing for some time which is really great.”

Wiedefeld said in just a few years there could be affordable housing on sites such as the one the announcement was made at on the corner of Mill Road and Mandeville Lane in Alexandria.

“Starting today, developers with joint development agreements with Metro can apply directly with amazon for this funding to increase affordable housing to Metro stations,” Wiedefeld said.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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