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:

Redlining, restitution and redefining the narrative

A recap of our #ReinvestPHILLY Summit  The #ReinvestPHILLY summit took place October 9, 2018, in downtown Philadelphia. More than 300 […]

Long live CRA!

Today marks the 41st anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law that was supposed to end discrimination that […]

Warren housing bill presents a clear choice on CRA

As concerned citizens and practitioners in the affordable housing and community development fields, we now have a clear choice regarding […]

Philadelphia Tribune: Summit rallies forces to fight easing of federal lending law

The importance of ensuring and strengthening the CRA was highlighted during the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Reinvest Philly summit.

10 bad ideas for CRA (regulatory) reform

10 bad ideas & bank-centric proposals for CRA regulatory reform An OCC-only approach to CRA reform On August 28, 2018, […]

American Banker: OCC should improve CRA, not gut it

While much in the OCC’s initial draft raises concerns, there is an opportunity to take a good, but incomplete law and make it better.

The Atlantic: Elizabeth Warren’s ambitious fix for America’s housing crisis

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, believes the bill’s reform of the CRA is essential and that banks need to be held accountable when they loan to low-income communities and communities of color.

Senator Warren proposes new vision for affordable housing and economic opportunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced a new bill tackling discriminatory lending, Community Reinvestment Act modernization, affordable homeownership […]