NASHVILLE, TN - Amazon announced that it will invest a total of $10.6 million to help build and renovate more than 130 affordable homes in partnership with the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), and support the social work of the local nonprofit CrossBridge. This commitment is part of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion commitment to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate-to-low incomes in Nashville, Washington state’s Puget Sound region, and the Arlington, Virginia, region.
“We’ve already hired more than 2,500 people at our Nashville office, and we’re continuing to invest and create jobs across the city. We also know that the city’s growth, the impacts of the pandemic, and various other factors affect the availability of affordable housing, and we want to do our part to help. As one important piece of that, we’re proud to be partnering with MDHA and CrossBridge to bring new housing to residents,” said Michelle Gaskin Brown, Amazon’s Nashville manager of public policy. “These new developments will provide affordable housing, social services support, and convenient access to public transportation to hundreds of families and individuals in the city. We look forward to continuing our investment in Nashville and helping to create and preserve affordable homes so everyone has the opportunity to live, work, and thrive here.”
Amazon’s commitment to MDHA consists of a $7.1 million low-rate loan to support the construction of Cherry Oak Apartments, a mixed-income residential development featuring 96 apartments, including 53 affordable homes in the Cayce Place neighborhood in East Nashville. Cherry Oak Apartments will provide housing in proximity to high-quality transit, employment centers, and parks. Families living in the affordable units at Cherry Oak Apartments will have guaranteed affordability at or below 80% of area medium income (AMI) for 99 years.
“Cherry Oak Apartments is one of many new residential developments at Cayce Place as we move forward with transforming our largest subsidized housing property into a mixed-income community,” said MDHA Executive Director Dr. Troy D. White. “We are grateful to receive Amazon’s first major investment for affordable housing in Nashville, and we hope this is just the start of a successful partnership.”
Additionally, Amazon is providing a $3.5 million grant to CrossBridge, a Nashville nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services to adults overcoming addiction. The grant will support CrossBridge’s housing projects on Lindsley Avenue in the Rolling Hill Mill neighborhood. CrossBridge owns an entire city block, where the organization is completing a new 50-unit building and renovating an existing 24-unit building into a 34-unit building. The grant will allow CrossBridge to complete its projects, operate at affordable rents, and expand services. CrossBridge will also provide tenants with mental health counseling, addiction support, workforce reentry support, and other services.
Supportive housing, which helps people with substance use disorders, is the most resource-intensive type of housing. The rents are extremely low and service requirements are high, making it necessary to provide long-term subsidies. The 84 CrossBridge units this funding supports will add to the most difficult to finance stock of permanent supportive housing in Nashville.
“CrossBridge provides effective solutions to end destructive cycles,” said Tina Mitchell, president-executive director of CrossBridge. “Through our Restoration House Program, we serve men and women struggling with substance use disorders. By offering high-quality, safe, and affordable housing within the context of a supportive community, we provide a reliable path to break the cycles of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness.” Bill Hart, CrossBridge vice president and general counsel, said, “This grant from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund will allow us to do so much more for those who have so little, resulting in transformed lives and a safer community.”
Over the past two years, Amazon has committed more than $94 million to affordable housing efforts in Nashville. In 2020, Amazon donated $2.25 million to local affordable housing nonprofit The Housing Fund—and followed up with another $1.5 million in 2021—to support housing residents in Nashville at risk of losing their homes. After launching the Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon announced a $75 million commitment to create 800 affordable homes near WeGo transit corridors. Most recently, Amazon launched an accelerator program in collaboration with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, which offers professional development, mentorship, and early grant funding to emerging developers of color to help increase inclusive housing developments and community building.