The Reconstruction | December 13, 2021

Amazon launches accelerator program for affordable housing developers of color

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, December 13 — Black Americans make up nearly half of the people living in federally financed affordable housing. But only 2% of the developers of such housing are Black-led.

Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund, which aims to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes for low-income families, committed $21 million to a two-year accelerator program for up to 30 emerging developers of color.

“If we are to bring about lasting, holistic, and meaningful change to how affordable housing is developed, developers of color need to be a part of the solution,” said the fund’s Catherine Buell.

Local partners

Amazon has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. in Washington State’s Puget Sound region, Urban League of Middle Tennessee in Nashville and Capital Impact Partners in Arlington, Va.

“Developers of color bring enormous opportunity for creative and inclusive solutions to community-focused real estate development,” said Capital Impact’s Ellis Carr.

Separately, Amazon formed a partnership with Enterprise Community Loan Fund to provide grants of up to $200,000 to real estate developers of color.