Advocacy, Coalitions, Community Benefits

The Community Reinvestment Act was a landmark civil rights law passed in 1977 to end discrimination that was once common in America’s banking and housing markets. NCRC leads campaigns, community coalitions, advocacy with federal policy makers and negotiations with lenders to fulfill their obligations under the law.

Our #TreasureCRA campaign seeks to strengthen and modernize it.

Since 2016, banks have pledged more than $84 billion in lending and philanthropy through community benefits agreements negotiated with NCRC. We also serve as watchdogs, analyzing essential data to identify misbehaving financial institutions in our member communities.

What is the CRA?
The CRA is a law that requires banks to serve the credit needs of communities where they take deposits, including low- and moderate-income communities. The law was passed in 1977 to reverse redlining patterns, and promotes neighborhood revitalization. CRA makes wealth building more accessible by creating access to responsible home ownership opportunities, basic banking services, and capital for small businesses. The CRA also calls on banks to support affordable housing, small business development, social services and neighborhood stabilization in low- and moderate-income communities. Since its inception, advocates such as NCRC, have used the CRA to secure trillions of reinvestment dollars for underserved communities.

Click here for a manual on the CRA and here to learn more about the CRA’s widespread benefits.

Community Reinvestment Summits
NCRC hosts community reinvestment summits where stakeholders get together to discuss the most important issues facing their community and how to productively address them through working in coalitions. We have recently convened summits in OregonOhio, Delaware, Maryland, and Louisiana.

How can you use the CRA?
NCRC offers crucial support to our members on how to use the CRA. NCRC provides research on bank behavior in your community, strategic consulting on how to approach banks, and other assistance to our members that increases their power to create positive outcomes for the neighborhoods they serve. We have brought hundreds of community groups into community benefits agreements with financial institutions.

Please contact NCRC for more information and to learn about the benefits of NCRC membership.

Policy Work
NCRC also works with legislators and regulators to strengthen the CRA, so that underserved communities have greater access to credit and capital.

Recent news on CRA:

Brown, Meeks And Members Of Congress Demand Bank Regulators Strengthen, Not Weaken The Community Reinvestment Act

We write to reiterate our grave concern about the impact of potential reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). ...

Member Spotlight: Q&A with Aidza Antonio Thomas

To honor our Hispanic members during Hispanic Heritage Month, we're shining the spotlight this month on four leaders whose work embodies what it means to give everyone in our communities a chance at economic justice. ...

Community groups call on regulators to issue uniform CRA regulations

Today, a coalition of housing, consumer protection and community development organizations called on the three federal bank regulatory agencies that govern the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to issue uniform CRA regulations in an anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR). ...

New HMDA data shows need to strengthen CRA, close loopholes, apply to more institutions

Just hours before the start of the Labor Day long weekend, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released 2018 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. It is the most complete record of mortgage lending in the United States. The data showed non-banks extended their dominance of home lending and that banks essentially dropped out of the government-backed FHA program that helps low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers. ...

Member spotlight: Q&A with ANHD’s Jaime Weisberg

Jaime Weisberg is the senior campaign analyst at the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD), a member organization of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). ...

Don’t diminish the importance of homeownership in CRA reform

With proposed changes to Community Reinvestment Act rules expected in late summer or early fall, we must remind federal regulatory agencies not to diminish the importance of home mortgage lending in CRA exams. ...

Report: Bank regulators need to plug loopholes in Community Reinvestment Act exams

The NCRC study, based on government exams of the nation's 50 biggest banks, found some banks get credit for investments outside of their assessment areas (AAs) even when those banks underinvested in the areas they are supposed to serve first. Meanwhile, other banks get little or no credit outside of assessment areas. ...

Why giant bank mergers like SunTrust and BB&T matter

Banks often tout the benefits of merging. The result depends on a variety of factors. ...