Two years ago, Daniel Davis wanted to buy a house, so he enrolled in a Greater Washington Urban League housing class.

Despite a decided sellers’ market where homebuying is as challenging as ever, and through the support and assistance he received from the Urban League and JPMorgan Chase, Davis counts among the District region’s newest homeowners.

“I benefitted from Chase, in general,” Davis said in a telephone interview with The Washington Informer. “Once the property was under contract – and I’m a first-time homebuyer – it took a little longer to close, but Robert really helped and made it a [great process].”

Robert Kirkland, the Chase Divisional Community & Affordable Lending Manager, said the goal is to make the home buying experience easier for first-time homebuyers – particularly those in communities of color.

That goal became more reachable earlier this year.

That is when Chase announced it would double its homebuyer grant program where qualified homebuyers in predominately Black and Latinx neighborhoods could receive a $5,000 grant to help with costs associated with purchasing a new home.

“A lot of clients get discouraged when seeking first-time homebuyer assistance,” Kirkland stated. “A lot of times, those monies you receive from third-party sources come with additional time to close the loan. We kept all of our resources internally when it was a matter of getting [Davis] funds for a down payment.

“This did not delay [Davis’] time frame, which made him competitive. At Chase, we offer a 21-day close guarantee. In this competing environment, it also provided him a leg up. We were able to put together a package for him that allowed him to move fast.”

The Chase grant helps cover a substantial portion of an applicant’s down payment or closing costs, which often acts among the biggest hurdles for new homebuyers, Kirkland remarked.

The grant program also counts as part of the bank’s $30 billion Path Forward commitment to help close the racial wealth gap.

That includes helping an additional 40,000 Black or Latinx families buy a home over the next five years, Kirkland said.

It is designed for properties in the 6,700 communities identified by the U.S. Census as majority-Black because they have lower homeownership rates and wealth creation.

Chase’s 2021 homebuyer grant is available on FHA, VA, Standard Agency, and so-called DreaMaker mortgages. Eligibility is based on Census tract requirements.

“The program is simple on purpose,” Kirkland said. “It is designed to reinvest in communities that are underserved. By design, it is to provide more resources for those in Black and Latinx communities.

“We have added about 6,400 new census tracts to our program, and more than 50 percent of lending is going to Black and Latinx communities,” he said.

Kirkland stated that Chase would continue to increase equity, affordability, and access to housing.

He said the bank would accomplish that goal by:

Originating 40,000 new home purchase loans for Black and Latinx households through an additional $8 billion commitment in mortgages

Helping an additional 20,000 Black and Latinx households achieve lower mortgage payments through refinancing loans totaling up to $4 billion

Financing an additional 100,000 affordable rental units through a $14 billion commitment in new loans, equity investments, and other efforts.

“The market is extremely competitive, and there are a ton of new homebuyers out there, and all of them are competing with each other,” Kirkland declared. “We see open houses with 30 people waiting in line outside to see the same place.

For more information or to find a Chase Home Lending Advisor in your area, go to

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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