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.

Here are a few of our recent accomplishments:

Recent Victories

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:

NCRC supports House introduction of Sen. Warren’s affordable housing and home ownership bill

The bill, S. 3503, addresses discriminatory lending, affordable homeownership, modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act and relief for families still recovering from the Great Recession.

Analysis of public comments on the Community Reinvestment Act

Banks want more certainty and easier exams, but points of consensus emerge.

National and local organizations unify behind a strong Community Reinvestment Act

The organizations urged the government to build upon CRA's successes and to strengthen it, not weaken it.

Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act regulatory framework

  November 19, 2018 Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework Docket ID OCC-2018-0008   To Whom it May Concern: […]

These are the 15 worst cities for black Americans

A new report from discusses the worst places to live if you are an African American. Two of the cities, Milwaukee (#2) and Minneapolis (#4), were covered in NCRC's 2016 report on racial disparities in mortgage lending.

Audio: What is going on with the Community Reinvestment Act?

Listen to this discussion hosted by NCRC's Senior Civil Rights Investigator Rose Ramirez, featuring Community Reinvestment Act Manager Kevin Hill and Senior Community Reinvestment Act Advisor Josh Silver on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding CRA and what it means to communities throughout the country.

Sign on letter for CRA ANPR

November 19, 2018 Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework Docket ID OCC-2018-0008   To Whom it May Concern: The […]

New Federal Reserve report supports NCRC redlining study

Government maps from the 1930s offer a ‘smoking gun’ that helps explain the redlined, segregated and disinvested nucleus of more than 200 cities, which persists today.