Amazon is committing more than $2 billion to support the building of houses in three cities where it operates.

The company said its contribution should help alleviate a growing U.S. housing shortage and make it easier for its employees to find homes closer to work.

Amazon said the money would be paid over the next five years to build homes in Nashville, Arlington and Seattle.

The company has more than 75,000 employees in the Seattle area where it has its headquarters. In Arlington, Amazon has more than 1,000 employees. Amazon is building an operations center in Nashville.

Amazon expects to add at least 5,000 employees in each region within the next five years.

Most of the money will provide residents with low-cost loans for housing, Amazon said. The rest will be grants to public agencies and housing organizations in the three cities.

"We don't have control over how the [housing] markets respond to a large employer coming into the market or expanding in the market, but we can play a role in how Amazon's growth is impacting our local communities," Amazon said.

Apple, Google and Microsoft have promised billions of dollars for low-cost housing - particularly in the San Francisco area.

In Silicon Valley, job growth has far outpaced the area's housing supply leading to shortages.

Alphabet's Google recently committed more than $1 billion for housing in the Bay Area. Microsoft pledged $750 million in Seattle while Apple had committed $2.5 billion in California.

Facebook recently pledged $1 billion for housing in Silicon Valley - considered to be one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Facebook said last month it would commit an additional $150 million to build homes for the lowest-income residents.