JPMorgan To Invest $500M In ‘Inclusive Cities’

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Written by Ann Brown

There’s a new program that might give hope to a lot of communities. Earlier this month, investment bank JPMorgan Chase debuted its AdvancingCities program to spread economic opportunity to distressed neighborhoods.

It is a $500-million initiative to create economic opportunity in cities. This unique corporate effort “will create a new investment fund to finance critical projects, help more people benefit from economic growth and leverage outside capital to invest a total of $1.5 billion in cities,” a company press release stated.

It continued: “AdvancingCities applies insights from JPMorgan Chase’s proven model for impact in Detroit, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and combines the firm’s lending capital, philanthropic capital and expertise to make investments in cities.”

It promised to invest in cities where conditions “exist to help those who have not benefited from economic growth. This includes demonstrated, strong collaboration across the public and private sectors on solutions that create opportunity for people at risk of being left out of economic growth.”

“Opportunity is not shared equally across neighborhoods,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “Businesses can and must step up to help change the status quo by creating a better future for all, no matter where they live. It is in our best interest and the right thing to do.”

The program combines the bank’s lending investment, its philanthropic capital, as well as its expertise to invest in cities. “A portion of the amount consists of up to $250 million in long-term, low-cost capital, and the bank says it expects to leverage an additional $1 billion in outside capital. Altogether, $1.5 billion will be used to fund sustainable projects in neighborhoods that do not have access to affordable housing, commercial real estate and small business loans,” Cities Today reported.

This photo taken April 2, 2014 shows residents walking to the heavily gated and high priced Kenilworth Market, the closest place to buy groceries after the supermarket closed after the 1968 riots, in the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood of Washington. Backed by a multi-year, $28 million Education Department grant, the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) vows to tackle generational poverty with a fresh approach — if a parent’s level of education improves, so does a child’s prospects. In Kenilworth-Parkside, helping the children get a good education is a primary focus, but it’s the adults they must first engage. And many of them are skeptical. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

“Too many neighborhoods are struggling from disinvestments. The consequences of this are profound. This is the story that is frankly defining our times. The private sector must step up and take action,” said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase.

The bank said it expects its AdvancingCities investment to attract an additional $1 billion in outside capital, which would equal a total of $1.5 billion directed to efforts that will increase inclusive growth in cities.

This photo taken April 2, 2014 shows children playing in the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood of Washington. Backed by a multi-year, $28 million Education Department grant, the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) vows to tackle generational poverty with a fresh approach — if a parent’s level of education improves, so does a child’s prospects. In Kenilworth-Parkside, helping the children get a good education is a primary focus, but it’s the adults they must first engage. And many of them are skeptical. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

 

This is move to help more diverse neighborhoods. Diversity has been an issue for JP Morgan in the past as it has had trouble attracting and retaining Black talent. And in 2015, the company expanded into Africa.

There are various elements of the program, including the AdvancingCities Challenge to source and seed innovative solutions that help drive inclusive growth in up to 30 communities. “The AdvancingCities Challenge will make investments in select cities to support collaborative and sustainable solutions that address cross-cutting challenges and help more people benefit from a growing economy. Successful proposals will support existing local coalitions of elected, business and nonprofit leaders working together to address major social and economic challenges such as employment barriers, financial insecurity, and neighborhood disinvestment,” the press release stated.

There’s also the Targeted City Investments, which will be focused on large-scale investments in cities where the conditions are right for success and broader, deeper investments are needed to drive inclusive growth around the world.

JPMorgan to invest millions in ‘inclusive cities’