Chase marked the grand opening of its first Community Center branch in Texas – and the fourth nationwide – to provide greater access to financial services and education for the people of Oak Cliff and southern Dallas.
The Oak Cliff branch is part of Chase’s recently announced $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and bring more economic opportunity to diverse and underserved communities. Built out with a new community “living room” area and a tech bar, the branch will provide:
- Workshops to build financial health- including sessions on saving, budgeting and building credit
- Mentoring for entrepreneurs and access to a pop-up space to display and sell their merchandise
- Free space and WiFi for community groups and neighbors to use for remote learning and work
In addition, the Community Center offers traditional banking services – including information that can help the unbanked and underbanked – open an affordable account with full digital/mobile capabilities.
“We’re moving beyond community banking to community building… we want to help people build a strong financial foundation so they can thrive and build wealth.” said Lawrence Bailey, Chase’s Dallas-based Head of Community and Business Development for Chase Consumer Bank nationwide.
To help advance homeownership in diverse and traditionally underserved communities, Chase Home Lending is now offering a $5,000 homebuyer grant to help in covering closing costs and down payment for qualified homebuyers purchasing a home in underserved communities across the nation. In addition, customers who complete a certified education course can save an additional $500 on a Chase DreaMaker mortgage.
“We hope this grant will help remove barriers to homeownership for the hardworking families that are the backbone of communities across Dallas/Ft. Worth,” said Cerita Battles head of Community and Affordable Lending at Chase Home Lending. “We’re focused on revitalizing and stabilizing communities, and we are committed to helping more Black and Latinx families achieve homeownership.”
Focus on serving the neighborhood
The branch includes a full- time Community Manager – a new role created by the bank – who will engage the community and businesses to increase awareness of available resources, and help connect them with financial health tools, products and services. The Community Manager will establish free interactive programs on topics such as budget building, home buying tips, how to fund a small business and others.
Oak Cliff’s Community Manager Terri Thomas, Branch Manager Shelia Draper and staff have already provided financial workshops through local churches and local schools, provided 500 pair of winter gloves for neighbors, donated Valentine gift bags for local seniors and care bags for patients at the local Veterans Administration hospital.
At the Oak Cliff branch, people will also have access to a community home lending expert focused on helping more people in the neighborhood achieve affordable, sustainable homeownership. In addition, the Community Center will also offer access to a small business consultant who will mentor local business owners to help them connect to local resources to start, grow and strengthen their businesses, from established enterprises to start ups.
Long-standing commitment to Dallas
Longtime customers of the Oak Cliff branch – which originally opened in 1985 – will discover a redesigned branch that looks and feels different from a typical bank. It now combines a modern design, layout, and state-of-the-art banking technology, reflecting how customers engage with Chase today. Employees welcome customers in casual and private meeting spaces with soft-seating and couches, with extra space to host community gatherings and financial workshops and offer self-service technology including smart ATMs. The branch also is staffed with a number of Spanish speakers.
The first prototype of this new branch model launched in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood in 2019, followed by Minneapolis and Chicago.
Chase has deep roots in Dallas going back more than 100 years. The bank is one of the region’s largest employers with 12,000 people living and working here across the metro DFW area. Chase has 200 local branches and serves about 2.4 million consumers and nearly 250,000 businesses in the Metroplex.