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:

OCC announces final rule to amend licensing procedures

Monday, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) published a final rule amending its licensing and merger procedures that will make it more difficult for community groups to comment on bank merger applications.  Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, made the following statement: “It appears the OCC is doubling down … OCC announces final rule to amend licensing procedures Read More » ...

NCRC Initial Analysis of Federal Reserve’s ANPR on the Community Reinvestment Act: A Step Forward but Needs to be More Rigorous

The Federal Reserve Board has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The ANPR proposes to build upon the existing CRA exam structure of separate tests for retail and community development activity. ...

Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

Complete the form to download the full report: