JPMorgan Chase has announced new steps to address the housing affordability gap as part of its $30 billion commitment to help advance racial equity and wealth creation.
The firm plans to harness its expertise in business, policy and philanthropy to improve housing affordability and stability as well as homeownership opportunities for Black and Latinx households.
The effort includes the following initiatives:
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: A new Chase Community Home Lending Advisor role is designed to help more people on the journey to homeownership and engage with industry partners and regulators to find ways to address gaps in the residential appraisal process.
Making data-driven policy recommendations: The JPMorgan Chase Policy Center 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 of 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.”
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.
The global financial services firm is also expanding its traditional home lending advisor network to include a new position called community home lending advisor, which is designed to be based in minority and low-to- moderate income communities.
Individuals in this role are experts in local housing and down payment assistance programs. To date, Chase has hired more than 100 community home lending advisors nationwide and has stated it 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: 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 a broader demographic to 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: 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.”
Advancing data-driven policy solutions: The JPMorgan Chase Policy Center also 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.
Chase shared these big-picture goals that it sees as critical to helping move the needle:
- 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 of JPMorgan Chase Policy Center 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.”