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:

Proposed Changes to CRA Puts Billions in Lending at Risk Each Year

Nearly $3 trillion in home and small business loans from banks went to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and communities over the last decade. Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which requires banks to make loans in all of the communities where they take deposits, including poor ones, could significantly decrease this lending, … Proposed Changes to CRA Puts Billions in Lending at Risk Each Year Read More » ...

NCRC Research Memo – Impact of Proposed Rule-Making on Major Credit-Card Lending Banks

NCRC analysis of OCC & FDIC proposal indicates credit card lenders may have reduced incentive to make community development investments. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently proposed a rulemaking (NPRM) that would radically change the manner in which retail lending, consumer lending and community development (CD) activities … NCRC Research Memo – Impact of Proposed Rule-Making on Major Credit-Card Lending Banks Read More » ...

Age-Friendly Banking and the OCC and FDIC’s Proposed Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act

(Download) 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 … Age-Friendly Banking and the OCC and FDIC’s Proposed Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act Read More » ...

Myths and Facts: A review of Otting testimony on proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act

The Comptroller of the Currency, Joseph M. Otting, submitted testimony in advance of his appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Jan. 29, 2020. His testimony cited and challenged NCRC's analysis of a proposal to overhaul rules that enforce the Community Reinvestment Act. This is NCRC's response to Otting's testimony. ...

Community Leaders Speak Up Against Proposed Changes to CRA

“We know our community leaders are extremely well-informed and understand both the dangers of the proposed rule changes and also the vagueness of some of the most important details," said Jesse Van Tol, NCRC's CEO. ...

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

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. ...