JPMorgan Chase boosts housing affordability with $20M philanthropic push and improved customer services

JPMorgan Chase is significantly ramping up its efforts to enhance housing affordability nationwide by expanding its philanthropic investments and consumer lending initiatives. Today, at an event held in Washington, DC, the company announced a substantial $20 million increase in philanthropic funding allocated to organizations across the United States dedicated to broadening access to homeownership opportunities, particularly for underserved communities. These organizations, spanning regions such as Washington, DC, Denver, CO, Pittsburgh, PA, Twin Cities, MN, and Albuquerque, NM, will concentrate on effecting change both on a national and local scale.

Furthermore, the firm unveiled expansions to its homebuyer grant and DreaMaker mortgage programs. Chase Home Lending will boost its homebuyer grant from $5,000 to $7,500 in 8,500 neighborhoods nationwide. This grant enables customers to lower their interest rates, reduce closing costs, and make down payments on properties in areas predominantly inhabited by Black, Hispanic, or Latino communities, as identified by the U.S. Census. Additionally, Chase is eliminating the current income cap for its 3% down DreaMaker mortgage program in regions where the $5,000 or $7,500 Homebuyer Grant is applicable, benefiting over 15,000 communities across the country.

Tim Berry, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, emphasized the significance of affordable housing in fostering robust communities and intergenerational wealth. He underscored the role of the private sector in collaboration with non-profit organizations and policymakers in advancing housing affordability.

Mark O’Donovan, CEO of Chase Home Lending, reiterated the company’s commitment to providing innovative solutions and services to facilitate homeownership sustainably, highlighting the importance of collaboration among businesses, philanthropy, and local partnerships.

In addition to philanthropy and consumer lending, JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to advancing economic inclusion and homeownership opportunities through its various business arms. The bank adopts a localized approach in communities historically underserved by banking, offering increased access to affordable home loans, low-cost checking accounts, and financial education workshops.

The Challenges:

Despite the proven wealth-building benefits of homeownership, underserved communities continue to face persistent obstacles in accessing and maintaining homes. Disparities persist in homeownership rates between people of color and white households across nearly every state. For example, in Washington, DC, a significant portion of the population lacking stable housing consists predominantly of Black, Hispanic, or Latino households.

As part of its strategy to address the housing affordability crisis, JPMorgan Chase supports organizations pioneering innovative homeownership financing and wealth-building models that can be scaled nationally. By collaborating with organizations at local and national levels, the company aims to assist underserved individuals throughout their homeownership journey, whether as first-time homebuyers or current homeowners.

Making an Impact:

The recent philanthropic announcement builds on JPMorgan Chase’s $400 million five-year commitment to enhancing housing affordability and stability for underserved households. To date, this support has aided organizations in serving more than 157,000 households, including preventing evictions or foreclosures for 59,000 households and preserving or creating over 14,500 affordable housing units.

One of the recipients of the recent grants, City First Enterprises (CFE) based in Washington, D.C., received $3 million to support their efforts in assisting eligible Black and Latino first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs assistance. Through its subsidiary, Homes by CFE, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) mortgage lender, CFE provides first-time borrowers with funds to reduce out-of-pocket expenses associated with purchasing a home.

Oswaldo Acosta, CEO of City First Enterprises, emphasized the importance of equitable access to flexible capital in bridging the homeownership gap for borrowers previously excluded from owning homes. He praised private-sector partners like JPMorgan Chase for their leadership in driving forward innovative models in homeownership.

Nina Albert, DC’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, expressed gratitude for JPMorgan Chase’s partnership with local organizations in bolstering housing investments and expanding homeownership opportunities for District residents.

Additionally, today’s announcement will empower several organizations across the country to support families throughout their homeownership journey. These initiatives encompass various aspects such as homebuyer readiness, equitable financing, and homeowner stability:

  • Homewise in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will pilot a credit builder loan product paired with matched savings to overcome barriers to homeownership.
  • Build Wealth MN in Twin Cities, Minnesota, will expand access to homebuyer education, affordable mortgages, and down payment assistance for Black households.
  • Impact Charitable in Denver, Colorado, will scale an equitable financing model providing down payment assistance and wraparound services for first-time Black homebuyers.
  • Catapult Greater Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will support homeowners in protecting their equity and preserving generational wealth through various initiatives.
  • Compass Working Capital, with a national focus, will expand the reach of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to help families increase savings and earnings simultaneously.
  • Economic Architecture, with a national focus, will design and pilot a liquidity insurance project to help homeowners cover mortgage payments during income or expense shocks.
  • UnidosUS, with a national focus, will advance a campaign for Latino homeownership, including research, cross-sector collaboration, and piloting a homeownership blueprint in California.

JPMorgan Chase collaborates with The Urban Institute to measure impact and share insights with the housing industry, furthering efforts to promote housing stability and affordability for underserved households. Additionally, the company partners with behavioral design nonprofit ideas42 to enhance consumers’ financial health and prepare families for homeownership.

Policy Solutions and Research:

JPMorgan Chase also advances its work through data-driven policy solutions and research. Last year, the JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter released a policy brief outlining pathways to advancing affordable, sustainable homeownership, along with insights into how addressing titles for heirs property homeowners can support generational wealth building.

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