On February 23, 2017, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced more than $1.2 million for the ongoing revitalization of Detroit’s neighborhoods.
Six community development programs that support Detroit continued recovery through housing development, blight removal, new business creation, parent education, and neighborhood beautification projects have received grants as part of JPMorgan Chase’s $100 million commitment. The new grants will support Southwest Housing, Vanguard Community Development Corporation, Grandmont Rosedale Community Stabilization Program, Eastside Community Network, Michigan Community Resources, and Community Development Advocates of Detroit.
“These targeted efforts provide Detroiters with the local resources they need to invest in the future of their own neighborhoods and create more widely shared prosperity,” said Janis Bowdler, head of Community Development Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase. “By investing in these programs, the quality of entire neighborhoods can improve as housing prices stabilize, blighted homes are removed or renovated, and education programs offer residents the support they need to own a home.”
These investments will provide the necessary capital to local community development organizations to address the drivers of economic opportunity in neighborhoods. The funds will help to finance key programs in neighborhoods such as Cody Rouge, North End, Michigan-Livernois, Hubbard Farms/Hubbard Richard, Marygrove-Fitzgerald and the Lower Eastside.
“There is a lot of work yet to do, but Detroit is on the road to recovery. By investing in programs like this that make a real difference to our neighborhoods, we are seeing progress accelerate,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Neighborhoods like the North End and Michigan-Livernois are getting better because of the programs JPMorgan Chase is supporting and the great work of our community partners.”
To help stabilize and revitalize Detroit’s neighborhoods, JPMorgan Chase’s new community development investments include:
Southwest Solutions ($800,000): Southwest Solutions is engaged in a comprehensive effort to improve lives and neighborhoods in Detroit through a broad range of programs in human services, economic development and resident engagement. Among its programs, Southwest Solutions provides assistance to Detroiters seeking to better their economic future through homeownership and financial coaching. They also stabilize and strengthen neighborhoods through numerous initiatives, including boarding-up abandoned properties targeted for re-use, maintaining and activating vacant lots, and organizing neighborhood beautification activities with residents.
“JPMorgan Chase has been a true partner in our community redevelopment work in neighborhoods across Detroit, providing critical support for our affordable housing, homeownership and financial literacy programs,” said John Van Camp, President and CEO of Southwest Solutions. “JPMorgan Chase’s substantial investment in Southwest Solutions reflects a shared belief that the wellbeing of people and place are intertwined.”
Vanguard Community Development Corporation (CDC) ($150,000): Vanguard CDC collaborates with the city of Detroit Housing and Real Estate Development Department to acquire and rehabilitate vacant housing through their North End HomeBuild program. This program works to preserve the North End’s beautiful historic housing stock, create and maintain additional affordable housing, stabilize the community, leverage previous investment, eliminate blight, produce more affordable homes, rescue historic properties, increase economic equity, prevent displacement, and create a welcoming, safe, and attractive community environment.
“JPMorgan Chase has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to help rehabilitate the community in keeping with its unique historic flavor,” said Pamela Martin-Turner, President and CEO, Vanguard Community Development Corporation. “Instead of tearing down valuable property, we are glad to work together to fix what’s broken and provide more affordable and valuable housing in Detroit.”
Grandmont Rosedale Community Stabilization Program ($77,500): This program aims to stabilize housing values, reduce vacancy and blight, encourage affordable home ownership, and attract new businesses to their neighborhood in Detroit. The program acquires, renovates and sells vacant and foreclosed homes to new homeowners and markets the community to new residents to bolster housing demand. With an emphasis on foreclosure prevention and blight elimination, they work to retain current residents and reduce overall vacancy. Specifically, they have coordinated an active task force of local residents to mobilize thousands of volunteer hours each year to clean and maintain vacant properties. By supporting small business development, they also work to revitalize the Grand River corridor.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from JPMorgan Chase for our neighborhood stabilization program. Vacancy rates are falling, housing values are rising again and new families are moving in to our community every day,” said Tom Godderis, Executive Director, Grandmont Rosedale. “Funding from JPMorgan Chase has played a key role in catalyzing these positive trends.”
Eastside Community Network ($75,000): Eastside Community Network aims to improve the Mack Avenue Corridor, between Conner and Cadieux, to stabilize existing businesses, improve aesthetics, remove blight, maintain open space, improve green uses, attract new businesses, activate vacant spaces in low market areas, and increase utilization. Partnering with local government, residents, business, and technical stakeholders, they focus on street scape design, green development, branding, commercial marketing and business recruitment.
“Mack Avenue is one of the most traveled and iconic thoroughfares on Detroit’s Eastside, linking businesses to a number of historic neighborhoods and connecting Detroit to three Grosse Pointe communities,” said Donna Givens, President and CEO, Eastside Community Network. “JPMorgan Chase’s seed funding to Eastside Community Network’s Mack Avenue Development Strategy, coupled with separate JPMorgan Chase grants to our partners at Tech Town and Michigan Community Resources, will spur the creation of a Corridor Improvement Authority Tax Increment Finance District, increase viability of existing businesses, new business development, and additional investments from public and private partners.”
Michigan Community Resources (MCR) ($75,000): MCR provides targeted neighborhood capacity building services to CBOs in Cody Rouge, North End, and the Lower Eastside that perform economic development activities, expanding upon the work completed by the JPMorgan Chase Service Corps team in 2014. MCR develops neighborhood commercial marketing materials, provides technical assistance for site specific marketing, creates customized investment strategies that can be used to target development-ready parcels and key neighborhood assets, and provides legal assistance.
“We believe that the best way to support neighborhood economic development is through a systems approach. This support will help us empower organizations to participate in broader economic development strategies that are currently targeting these neighborhoods,” said Jill Ferrari, CEO, Michigan Community Resources. “We are very grateful to JP Morgan Chase for recognizing the valuable role that community based organizations can play in economic development.”
Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) ($50,000): CDAD is a membership organization of community development and neighborhood improvement groups and assists its members through community planning, engagement and other support. They also work to increase awareness of public policy issues that support inclusive development, such as community benefits, affordable housing and land acquisition.
“Community Development Advocates of Detroit is extremely appreciative of JPMorgan Chase’s support of community development in Detroit,” said Sarida Scott, Executive Director, Community Development Advocates of Detroit>. “In this period of investment and development, Detroit’s neighborhoods must also be included. This grant will enable us to continue supporting the great work happening by organizations throughout the city.”