|JPMorgan Chase is investing $12 million with five nonprofit organizations in Atlanta and other cities to boost homeownership opportunities for Black, Hispanic and Latino communities.
|Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) is receiving $2.5 million of the investment. The nonprofit plans to use the money to invest in risk-based partnerships with mostly Black-owned local, small builders to develop roughly 500 affordable for-sale homes in neighborhoods that have experienced decades of disinvestment. About half of the homes would be in the city of Atlanta.
|JPMorgan Chase’s investment is part of its $30 billion pledge made in 2020 to address systemic racism in banking, such as discriminatory lending practices. $400 million is set aside for affordable housing initiatives for Black, Hispanic and Latino communities.
|JPMorgan Chase itself has paid out more than $13 billion in recent years to settle federal lawsuits over predatory mortgages, charging Black and Hispanic people higher rates and fees on mortgage loans than white customers, and racist treatment of African American employees.
Banking giant JPMorgan Chase is investing $12 million in Atlanta and numerous other cities to boost homeownership opportunities for Black, Hispanic and Latino communities to try to bridge the country’s vast housing and racial wealth gap.
Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), a 31-year-old nonprofit, is receiving $2.5 million from the bank. The money will be invested in risk-based partnerships with mostly Black-owned local, small builders to develop roughly 500 affordable for-sale single homes in neighborhoods where low-income residents face displacement. About half the homes will be in the city of Atlanta.
“These funds will also support direct lending to community-based homebuilders, help develop single-family homes for rent, and support our down payment assistance program,” said ANDP President and CEO John Callaghan.
‘We want to set the tone’
Jamie Dimon, the billionaire CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was joined by Mayor Andre Dickens at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs on March 1 to announce ANDP’s funding.
Dimon said the one-two punch of the Covid-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer spotlighted the country’s racial wealth gap in a way he had not seen before.
“And the only good thing that came out of that is you saw a lot of white people around the country, a lot of CEOs around the world, saying, ‘We’ve got to do more,’” Dimon said.
In 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced it was committing $30 billion toward fixing banking’s “systemic racism.”The money is going toward funding 40,000 mortgages for Black and Latino households, constructing 100,000 affordable rental units and opening more bank branches in historically marginalized communities.
“We [at JPMorgan Chase] want to set the tone for financial companies to do something different,” Dimon said.
Dickens said JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion “commitment for racial equity shook the world and shook the city of Atlanta for sure.”
“You are consistent, and that’s refreshing to have a CEO of a bank this large that gets it. You honestly get it,” Dickens told Dimon.
“When you saw what we were facing with Covid and when injustice occurred across the nation … and too many Black people had died at the hands of excessive use of force … you didn’t put your head in the sand,” Dickens said.
“You came up and you did something about it. You did it with a big number,” Dickens added. “This is not just charity. This is about you making sure you invest in the future of all Americans.”
Dimon: ‘I think all companies should get involved in public policy’
The banking company is also pushing for policy changes it says would increase the availability of and equitable access to affordable housing for renters and homeowners.
They include implementing rental assistance to households and landlords most economically impacted by the pandemic recession; establishing a national eviction tracking database; promoting reforms to increase mortgage market liquidity and improve access to affordable, sustainable mortgages that better serve people of color and low-income borrowers; and supporting federal housing policies that advance fair housing and mitigate bias in the home valuation process.
“We’ve got to help the federal government,” Dimon said. “They make it harder for affordable housing, they make it harder for mortgages. They make it harder for education, healthcare.”
Dickens said businesses have the luxury of moving faster with its plans because it doesn’t have the red tape and bureaucracy of government.
“Now as mayor, I’m trying to optimize our systems and improve our delivery so that we move at the speed of business,” Dickens said.
“But government has a mission, and that mission is solely for the people,” he said. “Corporations’ number one thing is that it gives shareholder value to make sure that the stakeholders are taken care of.”
But when the public and private sectors come together with a shared vision on how to invest in Black businesses and provide more affordable housing, for example, they speak a language that includes finance, business as well as community, Dickens said.