NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - On Wednesday, Amazon announced they are committing $75 million to develop 800 affordable housing units in Nashville, particularly near high-traffic WeGo public transit sites.
This announcement is part of a bigger commitment to add $2 billion worth of affordable housing in two other cities that Amazon calls home.
"As Nashville continues to grow, affordable housing becomes more and more of a conversation and a concern. And we thought this would be a great way for us to partner," Amazon's Nashville Manager of Public Policy Michelle Gaskin Brown said.
Brown said this commitment would help ensure that moderate-to-low income Nashvillians can afford housing within the urban core. It would also give them easy access to employment, schools, healthcare, education, and other amenities. The most impacted by this decision are families of four in Davidson County that make $68,000 a year or less and primarily take the bus. WeGo currently serves approximately 30,000 riders daily.
"There are nine corridors that have a ton of traffic and a ton of Nashvillians that go through them every day," Brown explained. "And we realized 'What if we can link affordable housing with these transit-oriented developments?'"
The average household, nationally, spends 13% of their income on transportation costs—their second-highest expense after housing. Putting these units near public transit would help to cut down on transportation expenses for the average family.
Amazon has a goal to have these affordable housing units ready to go by 2025.