JPMorgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank, will provide $100 million to help debt-ridden Detroit with housing repairs, blight removal, job training and economic development projects over the next five years, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans.
The investment, a mix of loans and grants, will add to a growing pile of money from outside private institutions as the city nears the final, painful stages of the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding. Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection in July, with an estimated $18 billion in long-term debt. This summer, a federal judge will decide whether to approve a plan that would allow the city to exit bankruptcy court by mid-October.
In recent days, the city has been lobbying to secure nearly $200 million in funding from Michigan lawmakers, who are wary of setting a precedent by using taxpayer dollars to bail out a major metropolis. If approved, the state funding would be part of a so-called grand bargain that would also include hundreds of millions of dollars from philanthropic foundations. The money would be used to cushion pension cuts for Detroit retirees and avert the sale of the city's art collection. The Legislature is weighing a package of bills regarding the outside funding this week.