2018-Conference-Banner-NEW 2

The Just Economy Conference is one of the nation’s largest gatherings of community nonprofits, policymakers, government officials, small businesses, banks, and academia, all coming together to create a just economy.

The conference features:

  • A wide range of sessions on community organizing and advocacy, housing, access to capital and credit, workforce and community development, fair lending, and business development
  • Experts and advocates sharing new developments, best practices, and innovative ideas for community reinvestment
  • Keynote addresses from prominent officials and leaders
  • NCRC’s Hill Day
  • The 2018 NCRC National Achievement Awards Dinner

April 9 – 11, 2018
Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, DC
Register Now

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2018 Conference Schedule

(Subject to change)


8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast with Speaker

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM SESSIONS

Community Reinvestment Act Basics
Banks are critical community partners and can be a catalyst for change in your neighborhood, particularly when public resources shrink. This workshop explores how the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) can be used to increase reinvestment in your communities. Find out how banks are rated on CRA exams and how you can influence that rating. Learn how to perform a quick data analysis on a bank’s performance and how to comment to federal regulators on bank merger proposals.

Economic Insecurity and Addiction in America’s Coal and Industrial Communities
At the intersection of economic depression and a pharmaceutical-led flood of opioids, struggling coal- and industrial-based communities have the nation’s undivided attention. The effects of addiction – depression, increases in HIV/AIDS and drug addiction in newborns – create acute and impactful community development problems. This session focuses on four paths towards revitalization and addiction recovery: diversifying the economic base; targeting workforce development; health and law enforcement partnerships; and promoting the distinct role of community-based organizations.

Unleash New Sources of Funding to Tackle Affordable Housing Crises
A growing number of cities, counties and states are developing creative financing responses to the growing affordable crisis facing millions of Americans. This workshop will focus on the innovative affordable housing financing campaigns raising billions of dollars around the country. Learn how local and state campaigns utilize organizing and political tools to raise new public sources of funding for affordable housing.

Community Development Finance Institutions & Justice: Meeting the Challenge of Success
In 1973, the first CDFI South Shore Bank issued a rallying cry “Let’s Change the World.” In 45 years, the industry grew from a quiet social justice movement to a $130 billion dollar industry aligning capital with justice. CDFI’s possess bipartisan political support, a dedicated federal funding program and close ties to many banks. But are they still on track? This intermediate panel for practitioners asks, “Are CDFIs responsive to growing racial and ethnic injustices and the responding activism? What more should CDFIs do?”

Housing Counseling: It’s Critical Before a Crisis
For years our critics, stakeholders and funders pushed the housing counseling industry for empirical evidence that housing counseling works. Hear from the experts, ask the tough questions and explore the evidence on housing counselings in creating resilient homeownership. These organizations exemplify why internally prioritizing housing counseling , to provide a basis of effectiveness in funding applications and to make the case to local, state and federal decision makers. What we have known for years is finally backed by unbiased, reliable and credible information and research.

For a nominal registration fee, housing counselors may participate in one of two 5-day trainings and non-competing events at NCRC’s annual conference. When registering (click here), please select your preferred training. The two trainings to be offered this year are:

  • Preparing housing counselors for the HUD certification exam
  • HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer

Please note that training participants may not participate in Hill Day activities. These trainings are provided with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Housing Counseling. For more information, please contact Nsonye Anarado at nanarado@ncrc.org.

9:30 AM – 12:45 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAINING (Separate registration required)

Preparing Housing Counselors for the HUD Certification Exam

This five-day course is designed to provide housing counseling practitioners with tools and strategies in preparation for sitting for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certification exam. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires counselors at HUD-approved housing counseling organizations to be certified by HUD as competent to provide comprehensive counseling services. As a result, HUD will administer a standardized examination testing counselors’ competencies in six core topics of housing counseling. This training has been updated to reflect the most recent modifications.
The core topics that will be discussed during this training are:

  1. Financial Management/Budget
  2. Housing Affordability/ Renting VS. Buying
  1. Fair Housing/ History and Overview
  2. Homeownership/ Pre-Purchase
  3. Avoiding Foreclosure/ Retention Options
  4. Tenancy/Obtaining and Maintaining Tenancy

11:15 AM – 12:45 PM SESSIONS

The Opportunities and Perils of Community Reinvestment Act Reform
The Treasury Department and members of Congress have proclaimed that changes to the Community Reinvestment Act are needed. As community organizations and other stakeholders strive to modernize this critical law, can CRA reform be done in a way to benefit underserved communities? Will it be rushed and politicized to the detriment of low- and moderate-income people? Where is there common ground and which discussions are too contentious for today’s environment?

Can We Preserve Affordable Housing in Gentrifying Neighborhoods?
As cities increasingly gentrify, what if anything is being done to preserve affordable housing, both homeownership and rental housing? Is it too late in many of our cities? The challenges facing traditionally lower-income communities and families continue to depress homeownership rates, particularly for persons of color.  Affordable housing developers around the country are competing against profit-driven investors.  Investors have been buying properties in low-to-moderate income communities, creating an even larger gap in access to the communities and families that stand to gain the most out of homeownership.  This panel of professionals will present strategies to aid in closing this ever-widening gap of access and opportunities to create more programs that promote affordable homeownership in your community.

Pay for Success: The Challenges and Opportunities in Unlocking New Resources for Community Development
In the past few years, federal, state and local government have experimented with paying nonprofits for positive outcomes and results rather than proposed ideas. This model, called Pay for Success or social impact bonds, rewards innovation and increases funding for new solutions such as aging in place for older adults and rewarding reduced recidivism. This workshop will discuss the early lessons from this newest strategy for community revitalization.

Organizing Amidst Digital Chaos
The president tweets at all hours, most people hear about it on Facebook, where foreign actors manipulate the newsfeed to sow distrust and confusion, and young people are shifting their conversations to private messaging apps.

What’s the state of the art for online organizing in such a chaotic environment? A group of movement superstars will explore opportunities and challenges in a continuously shifting digital culture.

Using the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligation and the Community Reinvestment Act to Create Equitable Community Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recent changes to the AFFH rule delays the submission of the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) for communities across the nation. Despite this change to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, the Fair Housing Act still requires local and state governments to affirmatively further fair housing in segregated and poor communities. Community organizers are expanding the mutually beneficial relationship between AFFH and the Community Reinvestment Act  (CRA) by using banks’ CRA investments to fund AFFH obligations.

A Decade In Conservatorship: How Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Are Carrying Out Their Affordable Housing Mission

In 2008, at the end of the Bush administration and the height of the financial crisis, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Housing Finance Agency placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. FHFA directed both Enterprises to shrink their roles in the secondary mortgage market. Affordable housing advocates have questioned how the conservatorship affects the Enterprises’ business decisions – their mortgage credit risk, pricing policies, loan products and loan portfolios.   This workshop will address how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship are serving the housing market.

Bridging the Gender Gap in Income, Assets and Entrepreneurship
The gender wealth gap is narrowing, but disparity persists. Both age and race exacerbate the gulf between men and women. Whether out of motivation or necessity, women are pivoting towards entrepreneurship. Let’s discuss narrowing the gender wealth gap by tailoring initiatives to strengthen female entrepreneurship and asset building. Beyond programming, let’s examine current policy barriers to supporting women and their economic security.

12:45 PM – 2:15 PM Lunch with Speaker

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM SESSIONS

Changing Cities: Segregation, Gentrification and Integration in 21st Century America
Gentrification and displacement have transformed D.C., Chicago, Portland, and other cities nationwide. These urban areas have often leap-frogged from segregated to gentrified neighborhoods in their city centers. Research across the country has shown that gentrification, displacement, and the loss of affordable housing often go hand in hand. This panel discussion includes practitioners and researchers in the field, providing insight into gentrification and how to mitigate the impacts of community displacement. How can we achieve prosperous, integrated neighborhoods as our cities are transformed?  

The Power of Public Data on Lending
Comprehensive data on home and small business lending by race, gender, income and revenue size of business are necessary to determine whether banks are making loans to traditionally underserved borrowers and communities. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is finalizing regulations for both the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and small business loan data. Join us for cutting-edge developments about increasing transparency in the world of fair lending.

Hospitals and Healthcare Systems: The Newest Anchor Institution in Community Development
Your zip code is the best indicator of health and how long you will live, which is why hospitals and larger health care systems are emerging as major new anchor institutions in community development. Learn about the significance of community-health needs assessments (CHNA) and how they can be used to generate investments from financial institutions by leveraging CRA and other community development resources. This panel brings together some of the United State’s leading healthcare and community development experts. to discuss a new initiative called CACHE and how Public Health Institute (PHI) is working with NCRC create healthier communities by increasing hospitals healthcare investments between hospitals and community development organizations.

Creating a CDFI to Fuel Community Wealth
This is an introductory workshop to Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). What does it take to become a CDFI? What does it to take to raise funds for them? Would your community be well-served by having a CDFI?. Top CDFI practitioners will discuss practical considerations for creating or growing a CDFI in order to fuel community wealth.

50 Years of the Fair Housing Act- What’s Next?
Walter Mondale designed the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to break down segregation, force discriminatory communities to do better and actually integrate neighborhoods. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), widely considered one of the greatest legislation of the civil rights era. Join us as we look back at the FHA’s history, its successes and shortcomings. We will then consider the future of fair housing law and how to utilize the FHA to address 21st-century problems.

Is the Community Reinvestment Act Being Equitably Implemented in Rural Communities?
Historically, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has not worked for rural communities. CRA advocates prioritized our obligation to serve urban cities and left rural areas vulnerable to banking deserts, lending gaps and an inability to fund development. We are pushing an innovative idea to ensure programs reach the rural communities CRA is equally obliged to serve. Join the West Coast coalitions pioneering this work to discuss CRA’s rural failures and our newest strategies for rural communities.

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAINING (Separate registration required)

HC119: Debt Management & HC120: Understanding Credit & its Impact on Today’s Consumer
This is a 5-day training designed to provide housing counselors and other housing professionals with tools to help consumers decode the labels of what the housing and financial industry considers to be good debt, bad debt, and healthy debt. During this training participants will be provided with tools to help consumers navigate the progression of their credit history and gauge the impact their credit behavior has on their everyday decisions. Participants will utilize case studies, activities, and assessments to apply the tools and resources provided during the training.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Membership Meeting

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Awards Dinner


8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast with Speaker

9:30 AM – 12:45 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAINING, continued (Separate registration required)
HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM SESSIONS

Staying Home: Promising Approaches and Trends for Supporting Older Adults to Age in Place
The data is compelling that over 90% of older adults want to age in place but often lack access to safety features, with only 5% of houses have universal design safety features and services that will facilitate their aging in place. This workshop will combine innovative examples of aging in place and the supports and financial resources needed to achieve those goals, with a focus on financial institutions. The outcomes are new tools that NCRC members can use to implement Aging in Community initiatives.

Are We Ready for the Fintech Revolution?
Social Finance, Varo and Square applied for bank charters in 2017. These internet operated companies are new to the financial industry. They also have yet to weather serious economic downturns with their unorthodox (some would say untested) underwriting. Are there too many risks to grant fintechs charters? Or do fintechs provide an opportunity to serve overlooked populations with innovation and flexibility?

Overcoming Criminal Justice Challenges for Returning Citizens
Community development strategies can overcome criminal justice challenges for returning citizens. Each year more than 650,000 ex-offenders are released from prison in the United States. Two-thirds of ex-offenders, also known as returning citizens, will re-offend within three years unless adequate employment, housing and mentoring are provided. Communities with the highest rate of returning citizens also have the highest levels of disinvestment, poverty and discrimination. Historically, this put community safety at risk and left few opportunities for a successful transition back into society. Today, Local communities are rising above the criminal justice challenges, recruiting high paying employers, providing quality housing and mentoring support for returning citizens. Learn how to utilize local organizing, workforce development, mentoring, and the resources of the Community Reinvestment Act and the Fair Housing Act to rise above criminal justice challenges in your community.

New Headwinds to Homeownership: Policies to Support the American Dream
Homeownership is at the heart of the American Dream and connected to a long history as one of the greatest opportunities to build wealth for working-class families and individuals decline.  Will proposed changes to the current tax code destabilize homeownership? With aging in place and competition from all-cash buyers, will inventory continue to decline? How do practitioners bring new policies to support affordable homeownership, i.e., what does the “new” American Dream look like? This workshop will examine current and future threats to homeownership and how to protect the American Dream.

11:15 AM – 12:45 PM SESSIONS

At the Crossroads of Health and Housing: Financing Healthy Communities
Healthy housing with access to health services is a huge factor in improved health outcomes for vulnerable populations, notably children, older adults and people with disabilities. Healthy communities integrate safe and quality housing, preventative health services and social services for vulnerable populations. Learn how innovative practitioners are developing local initiatives that combine housing, health, and services to improve health outcomes for low-income residents.

Regulatory Reforms to Fair Lending
Regulators from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, US Department Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve and Department of Justice will discuss the new regulatory environment towards fair lending, fair housing and fintechs. The regulators will discuss changes in regulations, supervision, current cases and what can be anticipated over the next two years. This discussion will allow for a big picture view of the role regulators play in keys areas that impact our work.

The Role of Branch Banks and Technology in Expanding Bank Services.
Exactly 6,008 bank branches closed between 2008 and 2016, while at the same time an array of new products and services have been developed. These closures increased geographical barriers to accessing bank services essential to communities’ prosperity. This workshop share innovative strategies where branch banks, technology, and targeted marketing and outreach can strengthen access to financial services and products for vulnerable populations and communities including people with disabilities, immigrants, and older adults.

Will Wall Street be Your New Landlord?
The housing crash led to an emerging monopoly: more US families are renting homes from fewer landlords. Many of these landlords are wealthy Wall Street tycoons who identified opportunity in the aftermath of the recession  to buy up thousands of foreclosed properties. New data shows that changes in federal policy may be exacerbating this trend. Can we push the homeownership market back into the hands of the individual? The panel will answer questions about this complex, but critical, issue.

How do Community Reinvestment Act Exams Measure Bank Impact?
This workshop is for anyone who wants to know more about how federal agencies measure bank performance on Community Reinvestment Act exams. Why do the exams not use consistent measurements?  Is that a problem or an innovative flexibility? How do exams measure responsiveness and what are they missing? This workshop is geared to be a dialogue between regulators and you.

12:45 PM – 2:15 PM Lunch with Speaker

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM SESSIONS

The New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
President Obama first tapped Elizabeth Warren to build an agency that would ensure “David can always beat Goliath”. Trump’s interim Director Mick Mulvaney has begun to transition the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from an enforcement to a deregulatory agency. The CFPB’s new mission statement prioritizes removing burdensome financial regulations rather than enforcing fair protections. What does the future of the CFPB look like? What do you do when your government protector needs protecting?

Discriminated: Do Banks Make Loans Harder for Black Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurial consumers approach the financial marketplace more like consumers-borrowers than business-borrowers. However, entrepreneurial consumers lack the same broad-based protections as consumer-borrowers. The gap in regulation leaves the possibility for exploitation and abuse, a possibility heightened for minority entrepreneurs who are already more vulnerable to exploitation in the marketplace. Join NCRC and marketing professors from three universities as they present their small business loan study and discuss the next steps for banks to correct discriminatory practices for minority lenders.

Strategies to Fund and Implement Workforce Development
Access to credit and capital begins with a “good job;” a good job brings affordable homeownership within reach for the working class. Currently, 6.2 million jobs go unfilled every day because employers cannot find the trained employees they need. Building a well-funded workforce training program is key to the stability of a low- and moderate-income community. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the critical components to a successful training program, from vocational training curricula to soft skills competencies and to wrap-around supportive services and how to build one in their communities.

Developing and Growing an Effective Age-Friendly Banking Campaign
Age-friendly banking campaigns have demonstrated impressive results in offering financial products, services and protections to older adults. Financial institutions, trade associations and regulators are increasingly interested in working with community-based institutions to launch campaigns. Learn how to create your own Age-friendly banking campaign with successful practices developed in communities like yours. You will receive important technical resources offered by NCRC’s Age-friendly banking campaign Toolkit and learn how an emerging partnership between the American Bankers Association Community Engagement Foundation and NCRC.

Resiliency and Rebuilding: the Role of Financial Institutions and the Community Reinvestment Act in Long-Term Recovery
In 2017, the U.S. was hit hard by natural disasters – from hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to fires devastating California, Oregon and Montana. Let’s discuss the role of the Community Reinvestment Act in rebuilding, resilience and long-term recovery. How do you access CRA resources after a disaster? Responding successfully requires preparation. This panel will focus on partnering with financial institutions to minimize the lag-time when financing recovery, rebuilding impacted neighborhoods, repairing homes and revitalizing businesses.

Environmental Justice, Alternative Energy and Community Revitalization
Environmental justice advocates are cleaning up neighborhoods and pushing for sustainable development, deploying solar and transforming opportunities from blue-collar to green-collar jobs. The crusade against climate change is now centered on the neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by toxins and environmental hazards. Join this panel of environmental justice leaders to discuss opportunities for your neighborhood– including Cap and Trade, remediation and social impact investments.

The Wealth Gap: Race, Gender and Intergenerational Disparities in Your Community
Join Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Jason Richardson and a professionally diverse panel to discuss how entrenched wealth inequalities impact our communities.  Wealth disparities remain entrenched in every community: whether it’s the racial wealth divide; unequal pay for women or ageism. This interactive session features new data, new ideas and a chance for the audience to voice the challenges and successes they have witnessed in their communities.

2:15 PM – 6:00 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAINING, cont’d (Separate registration required)
Preparing housing counselors for the HUD certification exam

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAINING, continued (Separate registration required)

HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer, continued (Separate registration required)

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Hill Day Prep Meeting
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Chairman’s Reception


7:30 AM – 9:00 AM Breakfast
7:45 AM – 9:15 AM Buses from Washington Hilton

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAININGS, cont’d (Separate registration required)
Preparing housing counselors for the HUD certification exam

HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Hill Day

9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Age Friendly Banking Convening

9:30 AM – 3:30 PM Women’s Business Center’s Small Business Speaker Series

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Buses to Washington Hilton


8:00 AM – 5:00 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAININGS, continued (Separate registration required)
Preparing housing counselors for the HUD certification exam

HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM HOUSING COUNSELING TRAININGS, continued (Separate registration required)
Preparing housing counselors for the HUD certification exam

HC119: Debt management & HC120: Understanding credit & its impact on today’s consumer

Past Conferences

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