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:

Do CRA Exams Measure Retail Lending Well?

As we get closer to proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a sober assessment of the effectiveness of various parts of CRA exams will help us react to the proposed changes. ...

New Penn Institute CRA Research Compendium Suggests Incremental Change is Best Path for CRA Reform

Boldly called  “The Future of the Community Reinvestment Act,” the publication has a series of articles examining retail lending, community development financing and branching of banks. ...

Local Resolutions: One Tool in Supporting Appropriate CRA Reform

Though the debate regarding the future of the CRA is with the federal regulators, we should not, and cannot, forget the role of our local communities and local governments, as they have the most to lose from potential changes to this vital law.  ...

NCRC’s Community Benefits Agreement Is Helping LHOME Bring Fair Lending to Louisville

Becoming a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) has allowed the Louisville Housing Opportunities and Micro-Enterprise Community Development Loan Fund, Inc. (LHOME), a NCRC member organization, to provide affordable housing and facilitate small business startups in low- to moderate-income (LMI) areas of the city.  ...

Brown, Meeks And Members Of Congress Demand Bank Regulators Strengthen, Not Weaken The Community Reinvestment Act

We write to reiterate our grave concern about the impact of potential reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). ...

Member Spotlight: Q&A with Aidza Antonio Thomas

To honor our Hispanic members during Hispanic Heritage Month, we're shining the spotlight this month on four leaders whose work embodies what it means to give everyone in our communities a chance at economic justice. ...

Community groups call on regulators to issue uniform CRA regulations

Today, a coalition of housing, consumer protection and community development organizations called on the three federal bank regulatory agencies that govern the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to issue uniform CRA regulations in an anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR). ...

New HMDA data shows need to strengthen CRA, close loopholes, apply to more institutions

Just hours before the start of the Labor Day long weekend, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released 2018 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. It is the most complete record of mortgage lending in the United States. The data showed non-banks extended their dominance of home lending and that banks essentially dropped out of the government-backed FHA program that helps low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers. ...