JPMorgan Chase plans to invest more than $20 million in West Baltimore and elsewhere in the city to boost homeownership and offer job skills and small-business training for residents.
The five-year commitment is part of $75 million in flexible, low-cost loans and philanthropic spending announced Tuesday for programs aimed at closing the racial wealth divide from Baltimore to Richmond, Virginia. It includes $20 million for programs in some Washington, D.C., neighborhoods and $35 million to be spread across the region.
“Business must do its part to help solve challenges facing the customers and communities it serves,” said Peter Scher, vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase, in Tuesday’s announcement.
Officials of the New York-based bank have scheduled an event with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on Wednesday in Kirby Lane Park on West Saratoga Street to announce grants to Baltimore recipients.
They include $5 million to the POWER: Prioritizing Our Women’s Economic Rise collaborative, led by the Latino Economic Development Center in Brewer’s Hill. The collaborative will offer small-business development resources, workforce skills training, affordable real estate development, and homeownership opportunities for Black, Hispanic and Latina women in West Baltimore. The bank said that about two-thirds of Black and Latino households in Baltimore meet the standard for liquid-asset poverty, and the largest share of those in poverty are women 25 to 54.
The New York-based banking and financial services giant selected the group through an annual competition for projects designed for and by Black and Latina women. The collaborative works in partnership with Baltimore City government, the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Community Engagement Center, Black Women Build Baltimore, Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades and Baltimore Community Lending.
And the bank is awarding $2 million to West Baltimore-based Parity Homes, which acquires and renovates abandoned properties by the block and builds affordable for-sale housing. The funding will enable 200 low-income households to purchase homes and go toward a construction apprenticeship program.
Bank officials said they have found that regional collaboration is needed to bridge the racial wealth divide, while it’s key to invest in women of color, who are then in a position to boost household economic mobility.
Including previous investments, the bank said it now plans to spend $125 million on economic opportunity and affordable housing programs in the Baltimore-Washington region’s underserved communities.