FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2020
JPMorgan Chase to Support Clarifi and Community Legal Services to
Help Prevent Growing Evictions as a Result of COVID-19
Philadelphia, PA – To help Philadelphians struggling to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, JPMorgan Chase has committed $300,000 to support Clarifi and its eviction prevention partnership with Community Legal Services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted the economy, eliminated jobs and affected thousands of Philadelphians’ ability to pay their rent. Many Philadelphians already had difficult financial circumstances, with an eviction rate at twice the national average. COVID-19 has exacerbated this; the National Multifamily Housing Council reported that only 69% of Americans paid their rent for April, a 12% decrease from March.
“We are extremely grateful for JPMorgan Chase’s investment in legal services to prevent eviction in Philadelphia and know our long-standing partnership with Clarifi has been and will continue to be instrumental in helping more clients remain in their homes.” said Debby Freedman, Executive Director of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS). “Stable housing is more important than ever as families struggle to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the City faces an eviction crisis. Philadelphians can only “stay safe, stay home” if they have secure housing.”
Clarifi and CLS have been collaborating on eviction prevention since 2018. Clarifi provides face-to-face and over-the-phone financial counseling for their clients facing eviction. The program includes placing a Clarifi counselor in eviction court two days a week to provide immediate counseling to clients as they evaluate and enter agreements with their landlords and a suite of informational videos to demystify the eviction process.
“We know how important it is to protect the financial futures of Philadelphia renters,” said Steve Wright, Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and Chair of the Philadelphia Market Leadership Team. “We’re aiming to keep more individuals in their homes, effectively reducing the overall economic impact of COVID-19, and ultimately, reducing the risk of infection.”
The new enhanced eviction prevention programming supported by JPMorgan Chase focuses on three types of consumers: 1) people who are behind on rent, but have not received eviction notices, 2) people who have received notices from landlords but have yet to start eviction proceedings, and 3) people in the midst of eviction. Each of these clients requires different interventions from direct landlord mediation, to budgeting for back-rent.
“Through our interventions we will not only prevent our clients from losing their homes, and the myriad of issues that come with eviction, we will also reduce the burden of the court by preventing clients from ever reaching eviction proceedings,” said Clarifi Executive Director and President, Steve Gardner.
Established in 1966, Clarifi is the leading financial wellness nonprofit in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Through counseling, education and coaching, Clarifi helps people at all income levels improve credit, reduce debt, manage student debt, prepare for homeownership, avoid foreclosure and save money. Clarifi’s mission is to create hope by helping people identify and secure their most important assets. More information at: clarifi.org
CLS’s mission is to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice, and change lives through cutting-edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation. Last year CLS represented over 12,000 low income Philadelphians. CLS provides a full range of legal services, from individual representation to administrative advocacy to class action litigation, as well as community education and social work. CLS is nationally recognized as a model legal services program.
About JP Morgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.1 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.