JPMorgan Chase to invest in program that supports The Way Home local homeless response system and addresses the affordable housing crisis.
Houston, TX – Citing increased rents and a sharp drop in vacancies after Hurricane Harvey, JPMorgan
Chase & Co. has joined with the Houston Housing Authority, Coalition for the Homeless, CSH and the
City of Houston to launch the Landlord Engagement and Assistance Program (LEAP), a new initiative
designed to boost the availability of affordable rental units by bringing Houston’s landlords together with
prospective tenants who are experiencing homelessness. The new initiative was announced at a joint
press conference on June 13 at Houston's City Hall, helmed by Samantha Maggiani, Carolyn Watson,
Tory Gunsolley, and Marilyn Brown.
Thanks to a $300,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, LEAP will fund a full-time staff person to operate as a
liaison to landlords on behalf of The Way Home homeless response system and local housing and
services providers. By dedicating staff and offering intensive hands-on support, LEAP will become a onestop
shop for landlord partners, helping them navigate various government agencies and the subsidy
process or troubleshooting tenant-related issues.
“Working together, we can provide desperately needed housing for the most vulnerable among us—
young people aging out of foster care, the elderly and disabled, homeless veterans and families looking to
pull their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey,” said Carolyn Watson, head of philanthropy for
JPMorgan Chase in Houston. “Our partnership will do more than address affordable housing. Together,
we can change the lives of homeless Houstonians.”
Based on data compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S.
Census Bureau, Houston ranks third worst in housing availability for extremely low-income households
among all major metro areas in the country. This situation has been exacerbated by the aftermath of
Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented flooding in August 2017. Because so many people were displaced
and needed housing after the storm, the inventory of available apartment units has drastically decreased
causing rents to soar.
“We continue to work with multiple stakeholders to find innovative ways to address Houston’s Affordable
Housing Crisis – a crisis exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey, a crisis that disproportionately impacts our
most vulnerable Houstonians,” said Tory Gunsolley, President/CEO with the Houston Housing Authority.
“The Houston Housing Authority is happy to further The Way Home’s process by hosting the Landlord
Liaison position within our organization and providing them with ample resources and opportunity to
strengthen partnerships with landlords.”
“LEAP was a good idea and needed even before Harvey,” said Marilyn L. Brown, President/CEO with
Coalition for the Homeless (lead agency to The Way Home). “Several years ago, Houston as a
community made ending homelessness a priority and set out to design a strategic approach to find
landlords willing to rent to those in need, leveraging existing housing stock while planning for new
affordable housing to be built. With the help of JPMorgan Chase, we are now able to implement a
structured process with goals and measurements for progress.”
In addition to the shortage of inventory and higher housing costs, households experiencing homelessness
face other barriers including past evictions, poor or no credit, justice-involved records, and discrimination
based on race, family composition, housing status, and income source (including the use of rental
subsidies). LEAP aims to not only remove barriers into housing through education and technical
assistance to landlords, but by also offering an educational program for The Way Home renters that will
help build the skills necessary for successful tenancy. Through these efforts, LEAP will advance the work
to prevent and end homelessness while simultaneously building stronger communities.
“Landlords with existing rental units are the largest suppliers of affordable housing in Houston so this
makes them critical partners in helping people quickly exit homelessness and work toward a path of
stability,” said Samantha Maggiani with CSH. “Based on our work and experience, we believe successful
landlord partnerships must be locally driven, involving ongoing and consistent engagement and
education, and that’s exactly what LEAP will do.”
To learn more about property management partnership with The Way Home, visit:
Facebook: @cshorg, @TheWayHomeHOU, @housingforhouston and @jpmorganchase
Twitter: @cshinfo, @homelessHOU, @housing4houston and @jpmorganchase @HoustonTX
CSH has been the national leader in supportive housing for over 25 years. We have worked in 48 states,
including Texas, to help create stable, permanent homes for individuals and families. This housing has
transformed the lives of over 200,000 people who once lived in abject poverty, on our streets or in
institutions. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CSH has earned a
reputation as a highly effective, financially stable organization with strong partnerships across
government, community organizations, foundations, and financial institutions. Our loans and grants
totaling over $750 MM have been instrumental in developing supportive housing in every corner of the
country. Through our resources and knowledge, CSH is advancing innovative solutions that use housing
as a platform for services to improve lives, maximize public resources, build healthy communities and
break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Visit us at csh.org to learn more.
ABOUT COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS & THE WAY HOME
The Coalition for the Homeless is a non-profit, 501(c)3 whose mission is to provide leadership in the
development, advocacy and coordination of community strategies to prevent and end homelessness. The
Coalition serves as Lead Agency to The Way Home. For more information on the Coalition, including a
snapshot of efforts from 2012 to present, please access our digital Press Kit. For additional information on
The Way Home, please visit the system’s digital Press Kit. Learn more at www.homelesshouston.org.
ABOUT HOUSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY
The Houston Housing Authority provides affordable homes and services to more than 58,000 low-income
Houstonians, including over 17,000 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and
another 5,700 living in 25 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. HHA also
administers one of the nation’s largest voucher program exclusively serving homeless veterans. More
information about the Houston Housing Authority can be found at www.housingforhouston.com.
ABOUT JPMORGAN CHASE
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is Houston’s largest bank with 6,000 local employees and more
than 200 local branches. After Hurricane Harvey, Chase provided more than $30 million in immediate
relief including discounted interest rates on new auto loans, not charging interest on some mortgages,
waived and refunded fees, and about $6 million in company- and employee-donations to nonprofits
focused on the Houston area. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at
Robert Friant, CSH
(212) 986-2966 x245, email@example.com
Jen Evans, CKP for Coalition for the Homeless
(832) 930-4058 x107 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunita Dharani, Etched Communication for HHA
(832) 462-0782 / Sunita@etchedcomm.com
Greg Hassell, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
(713) 216-5009 / Greg.Hassell@chase.com