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Homebuyers purchasing properties in predominantly Black, Hispanic, or Latino communities can now receive a $7,500 grant from Chase Home Lending, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Cerita Battles

“Homeownership is a major milestone in anyone’s life and an important wealth-building opportunity,” Chase Head of Community and Affordable Lending Cerita Battles said in a statement. “We’re continually enhancing and expanding our offerings to empower more buyers to achieve their dream of homeownership.”

The $7,500 grant will be available to qualified buyers in 8,500 communities across Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Florida and California. Homebuyers in another 6,500 communities will still receive $5,000 grants, the announcement added.

Recipients must apply for a DreaMaker, Standard Agency, FHA or VA mortgage through Chase, and must be securing a loan for a primary residence in a US Census tract that has been designated majority Black, Hispanic or Latino. The funds can only be used to cover a down payment or closing costs.

In addition to increasing the grant amount, Chase Home Lending eliminated the DreaMaker mortgage program income limit for communities where the grant is available. The DreaMaker program offers a three percent down payment and flexible credit requirements.

The program launched in 2018 as part of Chase’s $30 billion Path Forward plan to close the racial wealth gap, which partially stemmed from decades of redlining, disproportionately high mortgage denial rates, and lackluster mortgage offerings for Black homebuyers across income levels.

In 2021, Battles told MSNBC the Path Forward Plan was important in rebuilding trust with minority communities who’ve been underserved.

“There are a lot of different things, I would say, that lenders can do to support this effort. We have to make sure that we’re hiring people that mirror the markets we’re seeking to serve,” she said. “It is important for us to make sure that we have folks that are out there that can cultivate relationships and win the trust and consideration of these customers and these communities.”

Battles said the program has been successful in meeting its goal; as more than 8,600 homebuyers have received $43.1 million in grants since 2018.

“The latest homebuyer grant expansion and enhancement of our DreaMaker program support our long-term commitment toward uplifting and empowering homebuyers and communities,” she said.

Email Marian McPherson

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