Detroit’s newly revitalized downtown and midtown are buzzing. But not everyone is feeling the thrill. Beyond these areas, it’s all too common to find neighborhoods that are at risk of being left behind. The disparity not only harms families and communities, it isn’t a sustainable model — research shows that thriving neighborhoods are key for any city’s long-term economic success.
“Detroit’s success depends on our ability to work collaboratively with public, private and philanthropic partners to find innovative solutions that will fuel the city’s continued revitalization. JPMorgan Chase’s investment will create a microdistrict model, which can be tailored throughout the city and serve as a catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment, stimulating small business economic growth and creating new jobs.”
The question is how to spread the prosperity beyond the urban core.
To help address this complex issue, in 2016 JPMorgan Chase launched Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods), a $125 million, five-year philanthropic initiative to support and catalyze locally driven solutions for revitalizing distressed neighborhoods across the United States.
This focus on neighborhood renewal has been greatly informed by our work in Detroit, where we help to find ways to ensure the revitalization underway there extends beyond downtown and midtown. Historically, community development efforts have treated each element of neighborhoods — housing, education, health care and transportation — separately. Instead, PRO Neighborhoods’ strategy is based on the idea that creating vibrant, healthy and inclusive neighborhoods depends on investing in these elements in a holistic and integrated way — and doing so deeply enough in a particular place to have a real impact.
In 2016 JPMorgan Chase announced a commitment of $4 million over four years in seed funding to support the creation of Develop Detroit, a full-service nonprofit real estate development organization that fills a critical gap in capacity to bring financing to projects in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Develop Detroit will work to preserve existing affordable residential homes and build new, inclusive mixed-use housing projects in targeted neighborhoods. Since its launch in August, Develop Detroit has closed on three projects, which include new housing units, renovated apartments and a new development site for mixed-income, multifamily rental homes.
The Detroit Strategic Neighborhoods Initiative
PRO Neighborhoods holds an annual competition to encourage community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to collaborate on local solutions that promote inclusive growth in their communities. One of the 2016 winners was the Detroit Strategic Neighborhoods Initiative, a collaboration that brings together public, private and philanthropic partners. The initiative is focused on improving a targeted group of neighborhoods by stabilizing real estate, creating jobs, providing mixed-income housing and improving infrastructure.
JPMorgan Chase committed $5 million in the initiative to support the creation of a new $30 million Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a partnership between Invest Detroit, the Detroit Development Fund and the Opportunity Resource Fund. Over the next decade, the fund will dedicate key resources to add more housing, density and services in the West Village, Southwest Detroit and Livernois-McNichols neighborhoods, which have been targeted by the city for revitalization.