By Joshua Burd
TD Bank has pledged $2 billion toward affordable housing, affordable mortgage lending and other investments aimed at supporting lower-income communities in the state, under a partnership announced this week with two influential advocacy groups.
The organizations, New Jersey Citizen Action and the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey, said the voluntary agreement runs from 2023 through 2025 and will operate under the federal Community Reinvestment Act. That will give way to initiatives by TD that also include small business lending and other community development projects.
“It’s critically important that banks invest equitably in New Jersey’s low- and moderate-income communities, and in communities of color, whose economic struggles were caused by racially motivated exclusion from economic opportunities, including financial divestments by banks,” NJCA Executive Director Dena Mottola Jaborska said. “TD Bank has made a vital, multiyear commitment specifically to the economic well-being of New Jersey’s low- and moderate- income residents during a time when many other banks are mistreating customers and undermining their financial wellbeing, while also back-peddling on their commitments to communities who are most in need. This sets TD Bank apart from banks that have not been willing to commit to these agreements and sets a standard we hope other banks will soon follow.”
In announcing the agreement, the organizations noted that New Jersey is rated one of the worst states in the nation in terms of key cost indicators such as affordable housing. That will make TD’s commitments all the more critical, they said, noting that its plans for mortgage lending will promote affordable homeownership through a range of products for home purchase and refinance.
The framework will also include community development lending and equity investments in New Jersey for affordable and mixed-income housing and other community development purposes developed by nonprofit organizations and for-profit developers, according to a news release. Meantime, TD is slated to provide loans and technical assistance to small businesses in low- to moderate-income communities or those having gross annual revenue of $1 million or less.
“We applaud the ambitious Community Reinvestment Act agreement among TD Bank, the Housing & Community Development Network of NJ and New Jersey Citizen Action,” said Staci Berger, the network’s CEO and president. “This pledge to invest over $2 billion in affordable home ownership, community development, and small business financing for low- and moderate-income communities demonstrates a commitment to close the racial wealth gap and facilitate transgenerational wealth for Black and Brown families, while breaking down the barriers obstructing them from securing safe and affordable homes. The network and its members call on all major banks to follow TD’s important lead in forging close relationships with the community development sector.”
Additionally, the groups said TD will provide consumer products and services promoting financial capability and education among lower-income communities, ensuring greater economic opportunities for those residents.
“It is vital that financial institutions invest in the communities where they do business, which is why TD collaborated on this agreement in its headquarters state with New Jersey Citizen Action and the Housing Community Development Network of New Jersey,” said Michael Innis-Thompson, head of community lending and development and Fair Lending Center of Excellence for TD Bank. “This investment reaffirms our continued commitment as a purpose-driven bank to help stabilize, revitalize and accelerate economic prosperity for vulnerable communities. We’re proud to be a catalyst for minimizing barriers to financial inclusion and economic equity in our home state of New Jersey.”