NCRC’s Letter to Congress on COVID-19 Stimulus Provisions

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The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable  Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear House and Senate Leaders:

As you enter the final negotiations on the current round of health and economic relief and recovery measures in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, we are writing to express our support for several key emergency measures included in the House proposal for affected low- and moderate-income (LMI) families and communities, small businesses, nonprofits and consumers. While there are significant relief provisions in both bills, the House bill has funding levels and a number of critical provisions that would improve the relief and recovery response for LMI families, including larger direct payments to families and more food assistance, expanded unemployed and paid sick leave, additional grants and forgivable loans for small business, more assistance for nonprofits, better provisions on education and student debt, critical and comprehensive provisions on foreclosure, evictions, negative consumer credit reporting, debt collection practices and fair housing.  

We urge you to include several smaller but essential provisions included in the House plan in any final deal:

  • Non-essential rulemaking:  In order to facilitate due process around federal rulemaking, we urge Congress to adopt a temporary halt to all rulemaking not related to COVID-19.  With so much of the public, and particularly LMI families and businesses, consumed with the economic shock resulting from the Coronavirus, it is unfair to expect that they can also participate in open notice and comment periods unrelated to the national emergency.
  • Small Businesses and Nonprofits:   Both bills include essential provisions for small businesses and, in most cases, nonprofits. The House bill also includes a small business credit facility of zero-interest loans if the business does not terminate employees, with the loan becoming forgivable if the number of full-time employees is maintained one year later. Nonprofits should also be included in this provision and others benefiting small businesses. Many nonprofits are on the frontlines of relief and economic recovery efforts in their communities, they are major employers across the country and they are facing many of the same challenges that small businesses are.
  • Housing Counseling:  Following the last financial crisis, Congress recognized the critical role that HUD intermediaries play in helping households across the country manage financial decisions and recover. They also play essential roles following natural disasters, funded largely through HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling, but with support possible through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program if properly administered. Among other services, HUD intermediaries help families access public and private benefits that will facilitate the fastest economic recovery for the nation, including rental, foreclosure prevention and credit counseling, homeless assistance, and with upgrades in technology, many of these services can be delivered virtually.
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and more:  The House bill also recognizes the key role of CDFIs in small finance and the recovery in LMI communities.  Long after the nation has returned to work, school and play, many LMI communities will be grappling with the lingering economic impacts of COVID-19. CDFIs and small finance will be key to helping these communities recover over the short and medium-term.  Targeted provision for the Minority Business Development Agency and the nation’s minority and women business centers will be key to ensure that targeted recovery efforts are made to minority- and women-owned enterprises.

Both the House and Senate bills include important increases in federal funding for housing and community development programs that will be key to recovery in local communities, but the funding levels included in the House bill will ensure that the recovery is as robust as possible for LMI communities and the most underserved segments across the country. We also want to applaud the recognition in both the House and Senate of the need to place limits on executive pay and corporate stock buybacks.

We applaud the Congress and the nation’s federal agencies for acting quickly and crafting proposals designed to reach every segment of a nation that will be challenged to recover from this unprecedented economic shock in the months, and perhaps, years to come. We urge Congressional negotiators to adopt the more favorable funding levels in the House stimulus proposal and ensure that key provisions are included to ensure that LMI families and communities, small businesses, nonprofits and the nation’s consumers can access these critical benefits, mitigate the economic fallout and recover quickly.

Sincerely,

 

National Groups

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

Affordable Homeownership Coalition

Center for Community Progress

Center for Responsible Lending

NACEDA

National Housing Institute

National Housing Law Project

National Housing Resource Center

National Housing Trust

National NeighborWorks® Association 

 

State Groups

727 Mgt. LLC

Affordable Homeownership Foundation 

African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc (ACANA)

African Diaspora Directorate 

Arizona Housing Coalition 

Avenue

Beacon Development Group

Beneficial State Foundation

Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund

Birmingham Business Resource Center

Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc

BLDG Memphis

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

Building Alabama Reinvestment

California Coalition for Rural Housing

California Reinvestment Coalition

Can I Live, Inc

Ceiba

Center for Fair Housing, INc

Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Centre for Homeownership & Economic Development Corporation, Inc.

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise

Chester Community Improvement Project 

Chicago Community Loan Fund

Chicago Rehab Network

City of Toledo

Clarifi

Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Columbus Empowerment Corporation

Communities United For Action

Community Vision, Inc.

Consolidated Credit Solutions, Inc.

Credit Builders Alliance

EAH Housing

Equal Voice Action

Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Frameworks Community Development Corporation

Friends of the African Union

Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc.

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA)

Grounded Solutions Network 

Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

Havenwoods Economic Development Corp.

Hawai’i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED)

Homes on the Hill, CDC

Home Repair Resource Center

Hope Through Divine Intervention 

Housing Oregon

HousingNOLA

HousingWorks RI

Lafayette Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. dba HomesteadCS

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors

Legacy Foundation

LISC Greater Kansas City

Local First Arizona (c6) 

Local First Arizona Foundation (c3)

Louisville Urban League

Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition

Massachusetts Association of CDCs

Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)

Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council

Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council

Miami Dade Affordable Housing Foundation, Inc

Multi-Cultural Development Center

Nehemiah Project Community Development Corporation

New American Development Center

New Jersey Citizen Action

North Carolina Housing Coalition

NW HomeStart, Inc

Ohio CDC Association

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group

Omaha 100 Incorporated

PathStone Enterprise Center

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing

Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group

Pride Through Empowerment Foundation, Inc

Proud Ground

Real Choice Initiative 

Recon Foundation

River City Housing

Self-Help Enterprises

Solita’s House, Inc

Southeast Houston CDC

Southern Dallas Progress CDC

Southside Organizing Center

Southwest Neighborhood Housing Services 

St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. dba Neighborhood Home Solutions

The Resurrection Project

U SNAP BAC Nonprofit Housing 

Urban Land Conservancy 

WAVE

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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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