Since it was passed in 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has helped infuse trillions of dollars in community reinvestment dollars into minority and lower income neighborhoods. But, despite the benefits of CRA, recent changes will decrease its effectiveness and result in fewer loans and investments in low-income and minority communities. Instead, CRA needs to be strengthened to ensure that traditionally underserved communities have better access to credit and capital.
NCRC recommends the following:
- Promote elements of the CRA Modernization Act, first introduced by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tom Barrett (D-WI), and reintroduced as H.R. 1479 in the 111th Congress by Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Luis Gutierrez.
- Support the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010, H.R. 6334, introduced in the 111th Congress, and sponsored by Representatives Luis Gutierrez, Al Green, Maxine Waters, and Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Apply CRA to mortgage and insurance companies, securities firms, large credit unions, and non-depository affiliates of banks.
- Expand the definition of assessment areas to include geographical areas receiving substantial amounts of a bank’s loans, in addition to geographical areas in which a bank places its branches, ATM machines, and all deposit collecting and lending facilities.
- Impose additional penalties on banks with poor CRA performance including losing opportunities to contract with the federal government as in H.R. 6334
- Expand opportunities for public participation on CRA exams, including review of preliminary exams before the exams are finalized as in H.R. 6334