JP Morgan Chase & Metropolitan Ministries team up to offer affordable housing

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is investing $400,000 in Metropolitan Ministries, over the next two years, to help the organization build 112 new affordable housing units called SabalPlace, in Brandon.

The project will be the second phase of a residential development project being completed by Blue Sky Communities.

“We wanted to find property in a stable community,” says Scott Bedrosian, vice president of operations and strategic planning.

He listed the number of jobs and services easily accessible in that area, including Ashley Furniture, a number of banks, a Hillsborough Community College campus, and various health care facilities.

JPMorgan previously dedicated $90,000 to facilitate a feasibility study for an expanded affordable housing initiative, which resulted in the new residential program for families transitioning out of Metropolitan Ministries.

“Florida has one of the nation’s highest rates of cost-burdened renters and greatest shortage of affordable housing,” says Michael Baughen, head of JPMorgan Private Bank in Tampa, in a statement. “We’re investing in Metropolitan Ministries because they have a proven track record of working with local leaders, and organizations, to come up with innovative ways to solve problems.”

Since 2012, the number of families receiving housing through Metropolitan Ministries’ programs has grown more than tenfold, from 43 to more than 450, in the Tampa Bay area, according to a statement.

This year, Metropolitan Ministries aims to manage an additional 300 families off its campus, by expanding its remote case management prevention program.

“It’s imperative that our graduates maintain self-sufficiency long-term. Right now, they have a 94 percent success rate in maintaining housing 12 months after graduation,” says Tim Marks, president and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries, in a statement. “Our monthly number of assessments for onsite residential programs has doubled, and peaks at 300 families a month. The No. 1 reason? Lack of affordable housing for the working poor and families on fixed income.”

While without the support of JPMorgan Chase, SabalPlace wouldn’t be possible, the total cost of the project—which includes supportive services like onsite case management, food and financial assistance and children’s activities—will leave about a $1 million gap for the project, not to mention ongoing costs for staff and programs.

“We will be relying on community leaders, local businesses and individual support to continue to help and support us in our mission,” Bedrosian says. ♦

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