A new study finds that the rise in housing prices accompanying retail giant Amazon’s new Northern Virginia headquarters could displace up to 10,000 Latino residents.
Volunteers with the non-profit community group Tenants and Workers United, with the advice of Hiromi Ishizawa, a professor of sociology, randomly surveyed 285 families in a Latino neighborhood that sits on the border between Alexandria and Arlington County. Researchers found that plans to build affordable housing aimed at individuals earning 60 percent of the area’s median income will price thousands of Latino residents out of their homes.
“If the largely Latinx community of Arlandria is to be preserved, state and local government and private philanthropies must be focused on the particular needs of these current residents that add cultural capital and vibrancy to our community,” the report states.
Researchers found that about 95 percent of residents surveyed – most of whom have been living in Arlandria for at least a decade – earned less than 40 percent of the area median income, leaving them unable to afford the planned affordable housing. Amazon’s decision to build its new headquarters in Arlington has already caused a boom in housing prices in the area, The Washington Post reported last month.
About a third of surveyed families earned $28,000, which is less than a quarter of the D.C. metropolitan area’s median household income, Axios reported Wednesday. About three-quarters of those surveyed speak Spanish, the report finds.
“Only intentional interventions can save the community known to its residents as Chirilagua,” the study states.
Amazon has donated $3 million to fund affordable housing in the area that will surround its new headquarters, according to Axios.