JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) has committed $3 million to five companies, each developing climate resilient, affordable housing for minorities in the US, particularly Black, Hispanic and Latino communities.
- JPMorgan Chase has committed $15 million to projects delivering climate resilient, affordable housing.
- Climate change is disproportionately affecting those suffering socioeconomic inequalities, highlighting the need for adaptation strategies.
- There is an increasing focus on the social aspect of investment, driven by the need to build resilient communities able to withstand the impacts of climate change.
The five recipients of JPMorgan Chase’s funds will work primarily in five US States. This is part of a long term goal of influencing industry stakeholders by showing the benefits of climate resilient housing.
How the recipients will use the funds
The five companies are come dream. come build, Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services, Solar and Energy Loan Fund of St. Lucie County, National Housing Trust and PUSH Buffalo.
Texas-based come dream. come build will use the money to expand its MiCASiTA programme, which offers affordable sustainable homeownership options for rural families. Similarly, California’s Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services plans to increase the supply of affordable housing with factory-built homes. This is expected to save 20% in construction costs compared to homes built on site.
The Solar and Energy Loan Fund of St. Lucie County, based in Florida, provides funding to homeowners, landlords, developers, and contractors who are building climate resiliency or clean energy equipment.
National Housing Trust promotes decarbonisation in the Washington DC metro area by involving residents in programme and policy design. Finally, PUSH Buffalo in New York State builds and rehabs affordable housing with net zero standards, as well as decarbonise vacant buildings with green technology for first-time homeowners.
Climate change is worsening the US housing supply crisis
There is already a housing supply crisis in the US with a shortage of 3.8 million homes, according to construction sector network Up for Growth. This number has doubled over the past decade exacerbated
This is made worse by climate change, as extreme weather affected a tenth of US homes in 2021, as estimated by financial services firm CoreLogic. For example, hurricanes caused $33 billion in property damage on 1.2 million homes, with an expected reconstruction cost of $395.4 billion. Wildfires, tornadoes, hailstorms and winter storms have also caused billions in damage.
Credit rating agency Moody’s estimated that Hurricane Ian, which hit the Eastern coast of the US in September 2022, was one of the costliest hurricanes to ever strike the country, with estimated damages worth up to $70 billion.
Low-income Black, Hispanic and Latino households are more vulnerable to climate change in the US
Minority communities are more likely to live in areas with heavy pollution or with hazardous waste, and to die of environmental causes.
Environmental justice is a social justice movement that is addressing this issue, started in the 1980s following the publication of a report that showed how Black and Hispanic communities were more exposed to environmental degradation and dangerous pollution.
There are various organisations dedicated to environmental justice, including a dedicated office US Environmental Protection Agency launched in September 2022. It was established to oversee the implementation and delivery of a $3 billion climate and environmental justice programme created by the Inflation Reduction Act, as part of a wider $60 billion investment in environmental justice.
JPMorgan’s pledge to underserved communities
In October 2020, JPMorgan announced it would spend $30 billion over five years to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities, with mortgages, loans to small businesses, low cost bank accounts and inclusion initiatives within the company.
The latest investment is part of a $400 million five-year commitment by the banking giant to improve housing affordability and stability for households of colour.
Abigail Suarez, head of neighbourhood development at JPMorgan, said: “In our efforts to advance an inclusive economy, we remain committed to addressing some of the barriers to affordable housing and homeownership to provide family stability and build generational wealth for households of color.”
She added: “More households deserve accessible options to homeownership and now more than ever we need equitable, sustainable solutions that better equip communities with affordable, climate resilient housing.”