Amazon.com to spend $2 billion in homebuilding near key U.S. offices

Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it would spend $2 billion to create affordable homes in regions where three of its major U.S. employment hubs are located.

The company said it intends to create at least 20,000 affordable housing units in Puget Sound area of Washington State, Virginia’s Arlington and Nashville in Tennessee.

Amazon and other tech companies have faced criticism for driving up home prices in places such as the San Francisco Bay Area due to an influx of workers over the past decade, prompting Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc to invest in affordable housing.

A large proportion of Amazon’s investment will be through low-cost loans to preserve or build affordable housing for moderate-to-low income families, the company said.

Amazon is also in the process of building a second headquarters in Arlington, dubbed HQ2.