On October 21, 2019, JPMorgan Chase announced the winning proposals to support inclusive neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization projects in seven U.S. communities, as part of the firm’s sixth Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) competition.
This year’s winning collaboratives of community development organizations will be awarded $3-$6 million over a three-year period—for a total of $33 million—to help address the pressing challenges facing neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Texas, the Greater Washington DC region, Memphis, Tennessee, South Florida, and Wilmington, Delaware.
“Resilient neighborhoods are critical to the long-term success of cities and in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing low-income families,” said Colleen Briggs, Head of Community Innovation at JPMorgan Chase.
“By providing tools to local leaders and incentivizing collaboration, we’re helping transform underserved neighborhoods into neighborhoods of opportunity, where diverse individuals and families at all income levels can thrive,” she added.
Economic opportunity is deeply rooted in neighborhood conditions. Yet many neighborhoods face persistent challenges ranging from concentrated poverty and disinvestment, to displacement of current residents.
The PRO Neighborhoods competition, which aims to spark collaboration among community organizations to tackle some of the toughest neighborhood challenges, is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $125-million neighborhood redevelopment effort.
To date, PRO Neighborhoods has hosted six competitions, awarding more than $131 million to over 95 community development organizations across the United States. The winners from the first five competitions have deployed more than $470 million in loans into low-income neighborhoods and raised an additional $870 million in outside capital; a 1-to-13 leverage ratio.
This year’s winning proposals include:
- Opportunity CLE Neighborhoods (Cleveland, Ohio): Cleveland’s Glenville, Clark-Fulton and Buckeye-Kinsman neighborhoods are suffering from higher poverty and employment rates than the city average and depreciating home values. Opportunity CLE Neighborhoods will create a new framework to make projects in the target areas attractive for additional private investment, including Opportunity Zone equity. This proposal is led by a collaboration between Cleveland Development Advisors Community Reinvestment Fund and Finance Fund Capital Corporation.
- The 614 for Linden (Columbus, Ohio): The Linden neighborhood has a persistent poverty problem – where 40% of households earn less than $15,000 and unemployment is three times higher than the city rate – and a shortage of quality affordable housing and essential services like access to fresh, affordable food. The 614 for Linden will create and preserve affordable housing and commercial development, provide access to capital for small businesses, and offer health services to residents. This proposal is led by a collaboration between Ohio Capital Finance Corporation, Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, Finance Fund Capital Corporation, Economic and Community Development Institute, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
- Dallas Collaborative for Equitable Development (Dallas, Texas): Residents in the Bottom, Forest District and West Dallas neighborhoods are similar to many poverty stricken neighborhoods in Dallas but at the same time – these neighborhoods are facing rapid transition where their community identity will be lost if active intervention does not occur. Providing access to affordable housing, small business capital and job training programs will help community leaders the tools they need to take advantage of new opportunities. Dallas Collaborative for Equitable Development will provide access to capital for small businesses, create and preserve affordable housing and commercial and community development properties, and expand job training and placement. This proposal is led by a collaboration between The Real Estate Council Community Fund, Dallas County Community College District, LiftFund and Texas Mezzanine Fund.
- Purple Line Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (Greater Washington Region): The Purple Line project, a 16-mile light rail under construction in Maryland’s Prince George and Montgomery counties, will provide faster and more reliable transit and spark redevelopment around its 21 stations, but it also threatens to displace existing residents and small businesses in a region that’s already falling short of low-cost housing, according to a recent study. Purple Line Equitable Transit-Oriented Development will help local residents and small business owners benefit from the Purple Line’s economic potential with affordable housing preservation and creation, small business capital, as well as community organization and anchor institution engagement. This proposal is led by a collaboration among Enterprise Community Partners, the National Housing Trust and Latino Economic Development Center.
- Memphis CDFI Network (Memphis, Tenn.): The Frayser and Whitehaven neighborhoods have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, and by commercial disinvestment in comparison to many other parts of the city – leaving residents with vacant or blighted commercial strips and housing, as well as less investment in minority-owned businesses. This collaborative will create more affordable housing, increase small business startup and growth and improve residents’ financial health, building upon renewed interest by the city to revitalize small businesses and housing stock in these vital city suburbs. This proposal is led by a collaboration between United Housing, River City Capital Investment, Communities Unlimited and Hope Credit Union.
- South Florida’s Housing Link Collaborative (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach): Low-income communities along commuter rail face displacement due to rapidly increasing property values, proposed station development, urban flooding and a general lack of resources to improve economic upward mobility. South Florida’s Housing Link will develop and help upgrade affordable, resilient housing around current and proposed transit stations. This proposal is led by a collaboration between Solar and Energy Loan Fund of St. Lucie County (SELF), South Florida Community Land Trust, Enterprise Community Partners, Florida Community Loan Fund and Community Land Trust of Palm Beach County.
- Equitable Wilmington (Wilmington, Del.): Wilmington, particularly in the West, East and Northeast neighborhoods, has one of the highest concentrations of poverty among small U.S. cities, is under resourced with a shortage of community amenities, and has significant land vacancy and a lack of affordable housing. Equitable Wilmington will support affordable housing development, small businesses, and community facilities while leveraging the healthcare sector to target social determinants of health. This proposal is led by a collaboration between Cinnaire Lending Corporation, True Access Capital and NCALL Loan Fund.
In addition to the seven capital grant winners, the competition also included planning grants to provide seed funding for targeted early-stage neighborhood plans – nine planning grant winners across the U.S. will receive a total of $900,000. Overall this year, JPMorgan Chase received 75 applications covering 49 U.S. cities to support capital and planning projects.
Rendering of proposed Cleveland Avenue renovation from the One Linden Plan courtesy of the City of Columbus, Ohio.