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.

Completed CBAs

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:

Study: Proposed Rule Changes to CRA Could Encourage Neglect of Entire Markets By Big Banks

Proposed rule changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) could encourage the neglect of entire markets by the largest banks, a new study found. ...

Sign-On Letter asking OCC & FDIC to Suspend CRA Rulemaking during the COVID-19 Crisis

(Download) March 24, 2019 The Honorable Joseph M. Otting Comptroller of the Currency The Honorable Jelena McWilliams Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Dear Comptroller Otting and Chairman McWilliams: On behalf of the undersigned organizations, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) requests an immediate suspension until the end of the health crisis of the comment period for the proposed changes to … Sign-On Letter asking OCC & FDIC to Suspend CRA Rulemaking during the COVID-19 Crisis Read More » ...

National and Community Groups Call on FDIC, OCC to Suspend CRA Rulemaking for COVID-19

A diverse coalition of community-based organizations called on the OCC and the FDIC to immediately suspend the comment period for the proposed changes to CRA until after the health and financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus global pandemic is over. ...

NCRC Applauds Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC Efforts to Expand CRA Credit for Activities in Response to COVID-19

Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a joint statement providing guidance to financial institutions on how they can receive credit on their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities to low- and moderate-income people and communities affected by the coronavirus.  ...

Study: Proposed Rule Changes to CRA Would Let Banks Lend Less to LMI Borrowers and Communities

Nearly all banks that earned passing marks under current rules would be able to reduce their mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and communities under new rules proposed for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a new study found. ...

NCRC Applauds Federal Reserve’s Release of CRA Data

“We applaud the Federal Reserve’s release of CRA data. They are practicing transparency and we look forward to fully analyzing the data. We're also curious what it may reveal or imply about the OCC and FDIC proposal. The OCC and FDIC have failed to release data they referenced in their rule proposal," said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC. ...

The CRA Evaluation Measures Would Allow Banks to Relax their Retail Lending to LMI Borrowers and Communities

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have proposed changes that would dramatically alter the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination of banks. Their proposal would create a metric, called the CRA evaluation measure, that would be the dominant measure for determining a bank’s rating. As long as a … The CRA Evaluation Measures Would Allow Banks to Relax their Retail Lending to LMI Borrowers and Communities Read More » ...

Proposed Changes to CRA Puts Billions in Lending at Risk Each Year

Nearly $3 trillion in home and small business loans from banks went to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and communities over the last decade. Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which requires banks to make loans in all of the communities where they take deposits, including poor ones, could significantly decrease this lending, … Proposed Changes to CRA Puts Billions in Lending at Risk Each Year Read More » ...