CBC: To Trump Administration – don’t weaken the Community Reinvestment Act

CBC, February 27, 2018: CBC to Trump Administration – don’t weaken the Community Reinvestment Act

Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), led by CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02) and the three Co-Chairs of the CBC Economic Development and Wealth Creation Taskforce, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressing the Caucus’ concern that the Trump Administration’s review of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) will result in a weaker version of the law that hurts the very communities that the law is supposed help: historically underserved communities that struggle to attract private-sector investment.

In the letter, the CBC lists several issues that the Trump Administration should consider before making any decisions related to the CRA, including determining whether CRA assessment areas are properly calibrated to maximize investment in underserved communities and ensuring that fair lending reviews are retained as a part of routine CRA compliance.

“The CRA is a critically important economic policy created to remedy more than a century of exclusionary economic and financial policy in the private and public sectors. Now is not the time to make it harder for these communities to get ahead,” the members wrote. “Collectively, we now encourage the Administration and relevant banking regulators to tread cautiously with any potential changes that will result in decreased lending or investment in underserved communities, including communities of color that we represent.”

The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were copied on the letter. In addition to Chairman Richmond, the letter was signed by Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05), Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03), and Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA-02). Full text of the letter is attached, online.

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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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