The Real Estate Council Community Fund has received a $6 million investment from JPMorgan Chase’s Partnerships for Rising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) program—the biggest single investment ever awarded to TREC Community Fund.
The investment—one of seven made nationwide—follows an earlier $400,000 JPMorgan Chase PRO Neighborhoods commitment in 2018.
Last year’s PRO Neighborhoods investment started a one-year equitable development planning process in the Forest District, The Bottom, and West Dallas Census Tract 205, according to a release. The intent was to focus on developing a research and data-driven strategic plan to deliver resources toward economic inequality in the City of Dallas and within the three impacted neighborhoods.
This year’s investment will go toward catalytic development and projects, as well as access to resources in those same neighborhoods.
Census Tract 205 is an area of roughly 2 square miles that sits in West Dallas between Interstate 30 and the Trinity Rivers. It’s bounded by Westmoreland Road on the west and N. Hampton Road on the east, according to the Census Reporter. It has a population of roughly 5,672 people.
“This is truly a historic moment for the city of Dallas,” Linda McMahon, TREC’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “This effort will provide the resources these communities told us they wanted through the yearlong planning effort and illustrates what’s possible when deliberate and collaborative community planning is forged through enduring partnerships among all stakeholders.”
TREC plans to invest the $6 million over three years through the Community Fund, which has formed a collaborative partnership between the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Education & Innovation HUB, LiftFund, and the Texas Mezzanine Fund for implementation.
Called the Dallas Collaboration for Equitable Development (DCED), the partnership aims to leverage shared resources to meet the capacity, programming, and access to capital needs of all partnering community organizations.
“Our collective approach will continue to address the acute needs to develop affordable housing, increase access to workforce training, investment in small businesses and deliver much needed community leadership training as core outcomes,” McMahon said.
Investment in TREC Community Fund will have lasting impact
It’s crucial to recognize not everyone in Dallas is sharing in the city’s economic expansion, Elaine Agather, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Dallas, said.
“JPMorgan Chase is committed to creating greater opportunity in these struggling Dallas neighborhoods – and for the families who live there,” Agather said. “Our investment in The Real Estate Council Community Fund and collaboration with their dedicated community partners will have a lasting impact to help these neighborhoods thrive and grow in a way that allows current residents to participate in the transformation.”
She also commended the work done as a result of last year’s PRO Neighborhoods investment, saying that it demonstrated the “neighborhoods and partners are ready to take a bold leap forward.” Two years ago, TREC launched the Dallas Catalyst Project through the TREC Foundation, allocating an initial three-year million-dollar investment to The Forest District. The goal was to ignite exponential investment through place-based strategies, while creating catalytic real estate projects and community engagement.
TREC called the 2019 PRO Neighborhoods investment a major milestone: It not only achieves a major goal of the Dallas Catalyst Project, but also builds upon last year’s $400,000 investment.
Investment is part of larger JPMorgan Chase commitment
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the investment will help aid in its collaborative effort to improve the city’s housing stock, boost small business, and develop the workforce for a modern economy.
“The City of Dallas will rely on data-driven approaches to eliminate inequities in our neighborhoods, and I look forward to supporting the implementation of this investment,” Johnson said.
The PRO Neighborhoods initiative, established in 2016, is part of JPMorgan Chase’s larger $125 million, five-year commitment. The competition for the community grants opened last year.
The goal is to equip community leaders the tools necessary to transform underserved neighborhoods into places of opportunity where diverse individuals and families at all income levels can live.
McMahon underscored the significance of the investment.
“This is not only a historic moment for these neighborhoods and the City of Dallas, but it is also a historic moment for all of TREC’s members and investors,” she said. “25 years ago, as our members founded TREC Foundation, we set an enormously ambitious goal to invest our human and financial capital into Dallas’ low income communities. Today, we’re seeing that investment yield dividends for these neighborhoods that would have been unimaginable before taking this course. Our members and investors believe impact investments make a difference.”
TREC Community Fund, is a 501(c3) organization that provides nonprofits and for-profit organizations in Dallas and Collin Counties with access to capital for commercial and real estate projects. Businesses and organizations get access to the tools needed to build their communities via flexible loans paired with technical assistance.
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