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The Community Reinvestment Act at 40: A Careful Review of the Reviews

Shelterforce, September 14th, 2017: The Community Reinvestment Act at 40: A Careful Review of the Reviews

Every so often, an effort is made to collect articles by leading practitioners, community organizations, and academics about the effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The last was in 2009, when the San Francisco and Boston Federal Reserve Banks published a volume about perspectives on the future of the Community Reinvestment Act.

Just a few weeks ago, Cityscape, a research and policy publication of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), published an issue devoted to CRA and its upcoming 40thanniversary this October. With a new administration planning changes to banking policy, including a review of CRA, this publication is timely.

I aimed for a careful read of the articles in the HUD volume because they cover a range of critical issues for CRA, such as whether its current implementation is effective in increasing access to credit and capital for traditionally underserved communities, what’s working well and what could be improved, and how should CRA evolve as the banking world changes? No one volume can answer all of these critical questions definitely, but this volume is a good start and road map to thinking them through carefully.

Source: Shelterforce

Rob Bye

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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