Press Release: JPMorgan Chase Furthers Commitment to Closing the Housing Affordability Gap for Black and Latinx Households
June 16, 2021 (New York, NY) – Today, JPMorgan Chase announced new steps to address the housing affordability gap as part of its $30 billion commitment to help advance racial equity and drive an inclusive recovery. By combining its unique set of business, data, policy and philanthropic resources, the firm aims to improve housing affordability and stability as well as homeownership opportunities for Black and Latinx households. This includes:
- Addressing housing stability, affordability and wealth creation: A five-year $400 million philanthropic commitment that includes low-cost loans, equity and grants targeted to nonprofits and organizations in the affordable housing space that work to improve affordability and stability for Black and Latinx households;
- Creating more paths to affordable and sustainable homeownership: New Chase Community Home Lending Advisor role to help more people on the journey to homeownership, and actively engaging with industry partners and regulators to find ways to address gaps in the residential appraisal process;
- Making data-driven policy recommendations: The JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter will partner with policymakers and community leaders to advance data- and evidence-based solutions to tackle housing challenges.
“We’re trying to address some of the barriers to affordable housing and homeownership to help provide family stability and build generational wealth for Black and Latinx families,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Whether you rent or own your home, more families deserve fair, sustainable and accessible options and businesses have a responsibility to develop housing solutions for those who lack access to opportunity.”
1. Addressing Housing Stability, Affordability and Wealth Creation
JPMorgan Chase’s five-year, $400 million philanthropic commitment will help tackle the housing crisis for Black and Latinx households. The firm will launch new housing initiatives to advance affordability and stability in underserved communities across the U.S.:
- Working with the Urban Institute to identify, test and scale innovative affordable housing solutions, such as eviction prevention programs and ways to address appraisal gaps, to better serve Black and Latinx households;
- Collaborating with Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to advance solutions such as preserving affordability of existing homes and expanding community ownership models in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and Seattle.
Due to the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a critical need to help stabilize housing for Black, Latinx and other households of color. JPMorgan Chase will:
- Provide philanthropic support to nonprofits that fund foreclosure and eviction programs such as emergency financial assistance, rental repayment plans and negotiation support;
- Provide liquidity – including emergency financial assistance — to nonprofit providers of affordable housing and to small landlords facing their own financial strains;
- Advance effective housing preservation models to maintain existing affordable units, such as protecting small buildings at risk of losing affordability.
JPMorgan Chase Institute research has shown almost one in four renters experienced a greater than 10 percent drop in total income during the pandemic, even after accounting for government support, but did not have a forbearance safety net like homeowners, which creates economic vulnerabilities for both renters and landlords. The firm is working with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) to provide support to renters affected by the pandemic and at risk of evictions. NALCAB provided direct emergency financial assistance to Latinx-led nonprofit affordable housing providers to keep 2,000 Latinx families in their homes during the height of the economic crisis.
“This announcement underscores JPMorgan Chase’s understanding of systemic issues of inequity and their commitment to driving economic justice. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt in waves, and we are on the brink of an even deeper affordable housing crisis than currently exists,” said Marla Bilonick, NALCAB President and CEO. “NALCAB is pleased to work with our member organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to ensure that 2,000 Latino families are able to stay in their homes. Nothing could be more critical to recovery than ensuring stable housing and JPMorgan Chase has risen to the occasion, once again.”
The firm is also expanding innovative housing models aimed to lower the cost of affordable housing production. For example, the firm recently made an equity investment in Factory_OS, which is reducing the cost and time of multifamily housing production by up to 40% through the utilization of offsite factory construction.
2. Creating More Paths to Affordable and Sustainable Homeownership
Chase’s Home Lending business is focused on four key pillars to help address the barriers to affordable and sustainable homeownership: hiring people, expanding its presence, enhancing its products, and participating in policy reform.
Hiring people and expanding its presence: Chase is expanding its traditional home lending advisor network to include a new job called “Community Home Lending Advisor,” which is designed to be located in minority and low-to- moderate income communities. These individuals are experts in local housing and down payment assistance programs. To date, Chase has hired more than 100 Community Home Lending Advisors nationwide and will continue to expand.
Enhancing its products: Chase offers an array of products and programs that span the full economic spectrum. To address two of the biggest barriers to affordable lending, Chase expanded its Homebuyer Grant program to $5,500 to help more customers with closing costs and down payment assistance when buying a home in more than 6,700 minority communities nationwide.
Participating in policy reform: The Home Lending business is also actively engaging with industry partners and regulators to find ways to address gaps in the residential appraisal process, including:
- Promoting increased diversity in the appraisal industry: JPMorgan Chase is providing mentors for trainees in the Appraiser Diversity Pipeline Initiative. This initiative, led by the Appraisal Institute and Fannie Mae, is designed to attract new people in the field, help trainees overcome common barriers to entry and foster diversity.
- Promoting equal access to valuation data: Promoting equal access to valuation data and improved appraisal process techniques throughout the industry.
- Investing in innovation: JPMorgan Chase made a $1 million philanthropic investment in Ashoka and Brookings – two organizations known for their innovative, independent and data-driven analysis – to launch the Valuing Homes in Black-Majority Neighborhoods challenge to collect and study the most promising innovations to help address the appraisal gap.
“We’re taking a comprehensive approach to address what is a very complex challenge in this country,” said Mark O’Donovan, CEO of Chase Home Lending. “We are hoping to see meaningful impact for the people who need it most and will continue partnering with the public sector – at the federal, state and local levels – to ensure that’s the case.”
3. Advancing Data-Driven Policy Solutions
The JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter released new data-driven policy recommendations to improve household stability weakened by the pandemic and increase the availability of and equitable access to affordable housing for renters and homeowners, particularly Black and Latinx households. Among its recommendations, the firm will help advance:
- Addressing the affordable rental supply gap by preserving existing and producing new affordable units and stabilizing vulnerable renters;
- Implementing effective and targeted rental assistance to households and landlords most economically impacted by the pandemic recession;
- Incentivizing eviction reforms that improve outcomes for tenants and landlords and establishing a national eviction tracking database;
- Building on COVID-19 protections to effectively support homeowners, such as establishing permanent foreclosure prevention support that offers legal counseling to distressed homeowners;
- Promoting reforms to increase mortgage market liquidity and improve access to affordable, sustainable mortgages that better serve people of color and low-income borrowers;
- Advancing federal housing policies that advance fair housing and mitigate bias in the home valuation process.
The firm will work to advance these policy reforms and work with policymakers to support housing stability and affordability for households in need.
“Businesses, community leaders and policymakers need to work together to advance solutions that address housing instability and bring foundational change to the housing market,” said Heather Higginbottom, President, JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter and Co-Head of Global Philanthropy. “These data-driven policy reforms will help families across the country who have previously been locked out of stable, affordable housing.”
Photo courtesy of dany13 via Flickr.