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Advancing Economic Equity through Housing

Abt Global


March 22, 2024

JPMorgan Chase’s PRO Neighborhoods is a competitive grant program that promotes local approaches to equitable economic development.  Each grant is awarded to a group of community development organizations (collaboratives) that combine their respective skills and resources to develop and implement place-based and people-based strategies to address specific local needs. Since its inception in 2014, the initiative has awarded over $153 million in flexible capital to 36 communities, and Abt has been evaluating the grantees’ programs. In this latest report, we drew on 13 interviews with 10 collaboratives to understand how are addressing their communities’ diverse economic needs by investing in housing, and how those efforts are linked to the broader mission of supporting equitable development. 

From providing stability that supports health to providing a platform for building generational wealth, housing is a vital component of equity. This report shares examples of innovative and strategic housing programs that collaboratives have successfully implemented in their communities, including:

  • Building wealth through homeownership. For example, a collaborative in Minneapolis, MN is helping people of color become owner-occupants by purchasing small multi-unit properties to live in and rent out.
  • Helping emerging local developers build their businesses and capability to develop affordable housing. In Wilmington, DE, one collaborative is training aspiring local developers on the basics of business strategy and the development process to build their capacity and, ultimately, units.
  • Promoting community ownership through the community land trust model. For example, in South Florida, one collaborative is working with two land trusts to build or preserve at least 300 rental units using the Community Land Trust (CLT) model, which ensures housing prices remain affordable even amidst the kind of development that drives costs into the stratosphere.

The report also summarizes some of the key successes and challenges that collaboratives have experienced, sharing “lessons learned” for community development practitioners and policymakers. 

Learn more about AdvancingCities and PRO Neighborhoods.

Promoting Equity through Homeownership


New Models of Community Ownership


Strengthening Local Developers