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September 21, 2023
By now you're familiar with Amazon's $2 billion national Housing Equity Fund, which launched two years ago. It's helped support or preserve hundreds and hundreds of affordable units in our region, and some 5,300 units nationwide. Those have been rentals. Now there's a new pilot program, in partnership with the nonprofit National Housing Trust, to invest $40 million toward increasing homeownership. The fund's Senthil Sankaran said in a statement, “This new initiative will allow us to explore ways to help more moderate-income households realize their dreams of homeownership and, in turn, help build wealth that can pass on to the next generation.” In our region, the pilot program will work with African Community Housing & Development and Homestead Community Land Trust and Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King Counties & Kittitas. The latter will use an unspecified amount of fund money to help 50 families make down payments this year. And Habitat is also planning 240 new homes for the sales market, also supported by the pilot program. Other details should emerge from the other two local partners on a project by project basis.