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JPMorgan Chase pledges billions to reduce housing inequality

By Mike Wheatley | October 9, 2020
  • JPMorgan Chase said this week it will commit $30 billion towards addressing the racial wealth gap within the U.S.

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    Lenders such as JPMorgan Chase are among those being blamed for fostering inequality in U.S communities by denying mortgages to people of color, or offering them at higher rates than their white counterparts by using the now banned redlining practice.

    But recent events that have highlighted the racial wealth disparity have forced a rethink, and now lenders are stepping up to change things. Recently, Bank of America and Citigroup also announced they were committing $1 billion each to reduce inequality in the U.S.

    JPMorgan Chase’s initiative dwarfs those efforts by far however. Its $30 billion pledge will translate into various loans, investments and philanthropy efforts over the next five years. The bulk of the money will go towards housing, with $14 billion being made available in the form of loans and investments towards 100,000 affordable rental units. It has committed another $12 billion to mortgages that it otherwise would not have, CNBC reported.

    Over the next five years the bank plans to originate 40,000 home purchase loans for Blacks and Latinos. It will also help another 20,000 applicants in those ethnic groups reduce their mortgage payments through refinancing. That allocation also includes grants for down payments and closing costs, the bank said.

    JPMorgan Chase said in a statement it aims to promote an “inclusive economic recovery, support employees and break down barriers of systemic racism.”

    “Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequalities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

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