Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond: Revisiting the Community Reinvestment Act

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, March 2022, Revisiting the Community Reinvestment Act

A key question was how to best define bank assessment areas so that they do not reflect illegal discrimination or arbitrarily exclude LMI census tracts. Some community advocates favor a broadening of assessment areas. “This is a huge area,” says Josh Silver of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). “We think it’s critically important to expand assessment areas to places where banks do a significant amount of lending beyond their branches.”

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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

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