JPMorgan invites cities to compete for $500M in development funds

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JPMorgan Chase plans to invest $500 million over the next five years to support job training, affordable housing and other economic development programs in up to 30 cities across the country.

The initiative, announced Wednesday, is modeled on JPMorgan’s recent investments in cities such as Detroit, where the New York company has pledged $150 million in loans and grants for workforce development and neighborhood revitalization.

Through its latest initiative, known as AdvancingCities, JPMorgan has invited cities to compete for funding. The company is seeking proposals from coalitions of policymakers and private-sector executives that provide “innovative solutions” to local economic problems, such as unemployment, financial insecurity and neighborhood blight. Winners will be announced in the spring.

Additionally, JPMorgan plans this fall to announce a “large-scale investment” in a global city, it said. No additional details about the city or the investment were provided.

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

Of the $500 million JPMorgan has committed to its AdvancingCities initiative, half is expected to consist of direct philanthropic investments, while the other half is expected to consist of capital for affordable housing, commercial real estate and small businesses in underserved neighborhoods.

JPMorgan also expects to attract an additional $1 billion in capital from outside investors to support the initiative, the company said in the release.

“We have seen a lot of mayors stepping up and partnering with business and community leaders to do what’s right for their cities,” Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility, said in the release. “We are excited to take learnings and best practices from investments in Detroit, Chicago and Washington, D.C., to more cities and test solutions that can help more people share in the rewards of a growing economy.”

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