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JPMorgan Chase commits $30B to close racial wealth gap

The bank's program, announced Thursday, includes $14 billion for affordable rental housing and $8 billion in home loans for minority borrowers. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a67814e6eb709d67d4ee16dcbede5851/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The bank's program, announced Thursday, includes $14 billion for affordable rental housing and $8 billion in home loans for minority borrowers. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday it is committing $30 billion over five years to help close the racial wealth gap through a mix of housing investments, business loans and philanthropy.

The bulk of the total will come through $14 billion in new loans, equity investments and other efforts to expand affordable rental housing in Black and Latin communities, aimed at spurring construction and renovation of affordable housing nationwide, bank president and CEO Jamie Dimon said.

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"Systemic racism is a tragic part of America's history," he said in a statement. "We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people.

"It's long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way."

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The housing effort also includes $8 billion earmarked for 40,000 new home purchase loans for minority households and $4 billion for loan refinancing.

In a bid to boost minority business ownership, JPMorgan Chase said it will also provide $2 billion to fund an additional 15,000 loans to small businesses in Black and Latin communities.

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The bank will set aside $750 million for Black and Latin suppliers and aims to open 100 bank branches in low-to-moderate income communities across the country as part of an ongoing market expansion initiative.

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Its philanthropic activities will rise under the initiative -- as the bank said it will donate $2 billion in philanthropic capital over the next five years "to drive an inclusive economic recovery and support Black, Latinx and other underserved communities."

With the program, JPMorgan Chase joins a wave of commitments made recently by U.S. corporations to address racial inequality after national unrest this summer that followed the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

In June, Bank of America pledged $1 billion over four years to address economic and racial inequality and Google committed to spend more than $175 million on racial equity initiatives, with a focus on financing Black-owned businesses and supporting Black entrepreneurs.

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Protesters march for social justice

The Surrogate's Court building exterior remains vandalized while Occupy City Hall protests continue outside City Hall in New York City on June 30. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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