A new $7.2 million grant will prepare thousands of renters on Chicago’s South and West Sides for homeownership. The grant will help the Black and Latino families to buy homes in their communities. The grant from JPMorgan Chase will go to a coalition of seven community organizations to support affordable homeownership and to build new homes on vacant lots.
Here’s why this is critical right now:
Homeownership has been a key part of building wealth in families for a long time, but many communities have had limited access to this aspect of the American Dream. Programs like this one can help entire communities to be able to become homeowners and impact entire communities financially.
Charlie Corrigan, Executive Director, Central Region Philanthropy for J.P Morgan Chase spoke on this new important program:
This is going to help hundreds of families either buy a new home or renovate and preserve their existing home, we’re really excited about this opportunity to … build community wealth in areas that are too often overlooked.”
Could help begin to fix a disparity?
The reality is that in Chicago, white neighborhoods receive significantly higher rates of loans. According to research conducted by WBEZ, and the City Bureau, majority-Black and Latino neighborhoods received pennies compared to majority-white neighborhoods in Chicago. In this study, the research found that Chase bank had the highest disparity in lending to potential homeowners between the years of 2012-2018.
This coalition of seven organizations will be led by the Resurrection Project, a nonprofit focused on community ownership, building wealth, and serving as stewards of Community assets in Chicago’s Southwest neighborhoods.
Raul Rimando, the CEO of the Resurrection Project spoke on the importance of this investment into Chicago’s residents:
There are very few vehicles by which low-income, working families can build wealth, Homeownership is one of those.
Ramundo also said that this investment could help mitigate some of the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black and Latino people in both infection rate and financially as well.
The funds in this $7.2 million grant will go towards:
- Homeowner and financial education aimed at turning renters into homeowners.
- Building 150 homes using lower-cost modular construction
- low-interest loans such as the ones offered through the Resurrection Project will help homeowners keep up with repairs
The areas that will receive this focus are:
- New City and Back of the Yards neighborhoods on the South Side
- Chicago Lawn on the Southwest Side
- North Lawndale on the West Side.
Besides the Resurrection Project, six other organizations have been awarded this grant, including:
- Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council
- the Peace and Education Coalition
- the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
- Lawndale Christian Development Corporation
- the Southwest Organizing Project
- Capital Good Fund
This investment is critical to helping these neighborhoods build wealth, close disparity gaps, and improve their lives and families lives overall. Hopefully, similar investments will increase so that more people, especially communities of color can gain access to homeownership.