The Hoya: JPMorgan Chase set to increase philanthropic investments in DC area

The Hoya, April 26, 2018: JPMorgan Chase set to increase philanthropic investments in DC area

JPMorgan Chase plans to increase philanthropic investments and create up to 70 new branches and 700 new jobs in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, an expansion that Chase executives say will benefit lower-income communities.

The new branch locations will increase housing accessibility for low-income neighborhoods, according to Jesse Meisenhelter, spokesperson for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that works to increase fairness in banking, business and housing.

“In mortgage lending, bank branches still provide important access to mortgages for customers in low-income areas, and at lower rates,” Meisenhelter wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Research from a 2010 Federal Reserve study showed more mortgage loans and at lower rates in low-income neighborhoods that had more bank branches present.”

The locations will be subject to the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which monitors lending practices of banks with physical branches in a community, ensuring Chase serves poorer residents, Miesenhelter said.

“JP Morgan Chase has benefitted by serving wealthy clients in Washington, D.C., while skirting any legal obligations to serve the rest of the district’s residents,” Meisenhelter wrote. “By opening bank branches in the district, the bank will be legally obliged to meet the credit needs of low and moderate-income residents.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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