Local homeowners and business owners will receive a boost from a $2.6 million grant, announced today by the JPMorgan Chase & Co. through its PRO Neighborhoods (Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods) program. The collaborative project, involving Kentucky nonprofit organizations Community Ventures, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (Fahe) will bring affordable homeownership opportunities and small business support and financing to rural and urban areas of the state.
The competitive PRO Neighborhoods program is designed to give local organizations the flexibility to work together on community challenges in their city or region and develop innovative financing options for projects that are unable to qualify for traditional loans. The program consists of more than $15 million in grants to five programs nationwide that are dedicated to creating innovative and sustainable solutions to significant economic challenges in our communities.
In Lexington and Louisville, Community Ventures will focus on the Third and Midland area in east Lexington and the Russell/Cedar Street area of west Louisville. The project will provide affordable first- and second-mortgage loans to approximately 150 low-income residents, while reducing reliance on absentee ownership and subpar rental housing. Homebuyer pre- and post-purchase counseling and education will also be a critical piece of the project.
Additionally, affordable loans will be available to at least 50 start up and expanding businesses, which will create or retain an estimated 200 or more jobs across the project area. Development services, such as basic financial literacy, business planning and other training and technical assistance, will be provided to ensure the success of the resident business owners.
“The challenges facing our communities require solutions tailored to their specific needs,” said Paul Costel, president of Chase in Kentucky. “By collaborating and leveraging each other’s greatest assets –capital, talent and technology – our local Urban/Rural Housing and Business Collaborative is developing inclusive growth strategies that connect Kentucky families, entrepreneurs, and distressed communities to greater economic opportunities and prosperity.”
“With this grant, JPMorgan Chase has led the state’s three largest CDFIs into something much bigger than we could do on our own,” stated Kevin Smith, president and CEO of Community Ventures. “It’s not solely the $2.6 million award that will allow change; it is also the money we can leverage as a result. Community Ventures has been able to take this grant and attract another $15 million to these projects from other sources.”
PRO Neighborhoods builds on the early success of JPMorgan Chase’s CDFI Collaborative Demonstration Program, which supported seven collaboratives with $33 million in grants for low-income communities and small businesses. After conducting an impact assessment on this work, the Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies has found that the initial $33 million in support has allowed CDFIs to raise an additional $226 million to support their projects, or almost seven times the original amount.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Kentucky
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. In Kentucky, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves many of the states’ most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. It also serves over 700,000 consumers and small businesses in the state through 65 branches and nearly 100 ATMs, while providing more than $1 million to Kentucky charities. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.