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:

Absurd Examples Of What Would Qualify For Community Reinvestment Act Credit Under Proposed Rule Changes

Here are some of the most absurd examples of what would qualify for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit under rule changes proposed by regulators. ...

NCRC Director of Policy and Government Affairs Testifies in Front of House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions About Winners and Losers in Proposed CRA Changes

Good afternoon Chairman Meeks, Ranking Member Luetkemeyer and the Members of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions. Thank you for the opportunity to testify and for convening this important hearing on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to discuss the winners and the losers in the proposed rulemaking formally published last week by … NCRC Director of Policy and Government Affairs Testifies in Front of House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions About Winners and Losers in Proposed CRA Changes Read More » ...

NCRC Submits FOIA Request for Missing Data in CRA Proposed Rule

Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for records related to the agency's plan to revise Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rules. ...

The New York Times: Changing Rules to Help Bankers and Hurt Poor Neighborhoods

The Community Reinvestment Act needs a renovation. The Trump administration instead is proposing a partial demolition. ...

Adding Underserved Census Tracts as Criterion on CRA exams

(Download) Introduction The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is an income-based law. Accordingly, the regulations and exams focus on evaluating bank lending, investing and services to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and tracts. However, one of the major motivations prompting the passage of CRA in 1977 was reversing redlining and disinvestment from minority as well as … Adding Underserved Census Tracts as Criterion on CRA exams Read More » ...

Shelterforce: Redlining Would Be Relegalized by CRA Reform Proposal

In an attempt to make compliance easier for banks, regulators are proposing to incentivize the very thing the Community Reinvestment Act was written to fight. ...

Comment Period for CRA notice of proposed rulemaking now open

Today is the day, the clock is ticking, and we’ve got to mobilize everyone we know who cares about the economic health, wealth and justice in America’s communities. The government published today and opened up for public comments a plan to radically change and diminish the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Let’s make no … Comment Period for CRA notice of proposed rulemaking now open Read More » ...

Initial NCRC Analysis of the FDIC and OCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Concerning the Community Reinvestment Act

In December 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would considerably weaken the regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law designed to combat redlining by requiring banks to affirmatively and continually meet community needs for … Initial NCRC Analysis of the FDIC and OCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Concerning the Community Reinvestment Act Read More » ...