JPMorgan Chase unveils 3 new steps in effort to close housing affordability gap

Initiatives, aimed at increasing homeownership for Blacks and Latinx, include $400M philanthropic commitment, data-driven policy recommendations, new business practices

JPMorgan Chase is announcing three new steps Wednesday to help address the housing affordability gap that impacts Black and Latinx households.

The efforts, which include a five-year, $400 million philanthropic commitment that will be a mix of grants, low-cost loans and equity to advance stability, affordability and wealth creation — are part of the bank’s previously announced $30 million commitment to help advance racial equity and drive an inclusive recovery.

By combining its unique set of business, data, policy and philanthropic resources, JPMorgan Chase said it is aiming to improve housing affordability and stability, as well as homeownership opportunities.

More specifically, the firm said it will take these three steps:

  1. Address housing stability, affordability and wealth creation: The firm’s five-year, $400 million philanthropic commitment will be targeted to nonprofits and organizations in the affordable housing space that work to improve affordability and stability for Black and Latinx households;
  2. Create more paths to affordable and sustainable homeownership: New Chase community home lending adviser 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;
  3. Make 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.

JPMorgan Chase Chair and CEO Jamie Dimon said the firm is 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.

“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,” he said.

The firm will launch new housing initiatives to advance affordability and stability in underserved communities across the U.S. Here are just some of the initiatives:

  • 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.
  • 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.

The firm said its research has shown almost one in four renters experienced a greater than 10% 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 said it is working with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders 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.

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.