We are writing you today to ask you to continue your leadership by moving forward with the introduction and passage of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) modernization legislation. For many months communities, advocates, and your colleagues in Congress have been told that the introduction of comprehensive CRA reform is coming. It is now time for CRA reform to begin moving forward in earnest.
As you are aware, the four bank regulators have begun the process to modernize the regulations of CRA by scheduling hearings that began in July. We thank you for your support and work to ensure that this process was started, including your participation at the Brockton, MA Federal Reserve field hearing, one of 9 hearings the PICO National Network and National People’s Action organized last year. While we welcome this and will be working with the regulators to ensure the most effective update possible, we know that regulatory changes alone are not enough. To begin with, there is no guarantee regulators will make adequate changes to CRA. We think the passage of a bill in the House would spur the federal bank agencies to make better changes to the CRA regulation. There is also the danger that with a new crop of regulators, under a future administration, we might lose much of what we gained.
There are also substantial inadequacies in the law itself that can only be addressed through legislation. For example, due to changes in the marketplace over the last two decades, CRA does not apply to the bulk of mortgages and lenders in the country. Applying CRA to mortgage companies and mainstream credit unions is absolutely essential and can only be achieved through a change in the underlying law. It is worth remembering that, at the height of the housing bubble, only 6% of high-cost loans – the irresponsible lending that led to the melt-down – were made by the CRA covered lenders. Had CRA been applied to all lenders, it is likely that many of the worst abuses could have been curbed or avoided altogether. Moreover, applying CRA to additional institutions such as investment banks and insurance companies will leverage substantial investments and other financial products for communities of color and low- and moderate-income communities.
As pivotal a tool as CRA can be in preventing the next crash, equally crucial is the role an updated CRA will play in rebuilding the neighborhoods and businesses decimated by the Great Recession. CRA has brought billions of dollars of investment to our nation’s communities. We see now, more than ever, the need for such investment in neighborhoods devastated by foreclosure and reeling from job losses brought on by inaccessible small business credit. America needs capital and investment now, and a modernized CRA can spur our financial system to provide it.
We, and the thousands of community leaders we represent, are committed to working with you, the members of your Committee, Congress as a whole and the Administration to make the passage of effective CRA reform a reality this year. We look forward to seeing legislation introduced and votes scheduled quickly.
If you have any questions, please contact either Dion Spencer, Director of Legislation and Regulatory Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org) at National Community Reinvestment Coalition or Liz Ryan Murray, Senior Policy Analyst (email@example.com) at National People’s Action.
Organizations that have signed on so far!!
Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)
American Community Partnerships
Center For Responsible Lending (CRL)
Housing Assistance Council
The Leadership Conference On Civil And Human Rights
National Association Of Consumer Advocates
National Association Of Housing Counselors And Agencies
National Committee For Responsive Philanthropy
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Council Of La Raza
National Housing Trust
National Housing Conference
National League Of Cities
National People’s Action
A New Way Forward
PICO National Network
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
US Conference Of Mayors
US Jesuit Conference
Local / Regional Organizations:
Affordable Housing Clearinghouse
Alaska Works Partnership Inc.
Alliance For Better Housing
Alliance to Develop Power
Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services Inc.
Andrew H. Foster, Clinical Professor of Law, Duke Law School
Apprisen Financial Advocates
Association For Neighborhood & Housing Development
Athens Land Trust
Arc of Hilo
Baltimore Cash Campaign
Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
Baltimore Trades Guild, Inc
Bay Area Women’s Center
Beans And Rice, Inc.
Birmingham Business Resource Center
Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation
Capital Area Asset Management Company
California Coalition For Rural Housing
California Reinvestment Coalition
California Resources And Training
Calvert Asset Management Company
Casa Of Oregon
CCCS Delaware Valley
CDC Of Marlboro County
CDC Of Tampa Inc.
CDC Small Business Finance Corporation
Ceiba Economic Development Corporation
Center For Community Development Inc.
Center For Community Justice And Advocacy
Center For New York City Neighborhoods
Central City Renaissance Alliance
Centre For Homeownership And Economic Development Corporation
Chester Community Improvement Project
Chhaya Community Development Corporation
Chicago Community Loan Fund
Chicago Rehab Network
Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
City Life/Vida Urbana
Columbus Urban League
Common Wealth Development Inc.
Communities United For Action
Community Action Committee Of Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, PA
Community Action Program Of Evansville And Vanderburgh County Inc.
Community Development Council Of Greater Memphis
Community Empowerment Coalition Inc
Community Housing Opportunities Corporation
Community Reinvestment Fund Inc.
Community Renewal Team Inc.
Community Service Network Inc.
Community Service Programs Of West Alabama Inc.
Covenant Faith Outreach Ministries/Covenant Community Development Corp.
Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc.
Detroit Nonprofit Housing Corp
Disability Opportunity Fund
Dominion Financial Management
East Side Organizing Project
Eastside Ministerial Alliance
Economic Opportunity For Savannah Chatham County Area Inc.
Economic Resources Corporation
Eden Council For Hope And Opportunity
El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO
Empire Justice Center
Escambia County Housing Finance Authority
Fair Finance Watch, South Bronx
Fair Housing Center Of Greater Boston
Fair Housing Center Of West Michigan
Fair Housing Council Of Central New York, Inc.
Fair Housing Council Of Suburban Philadelphia
Fair Housing of The Dakotas
Family Management Credit Counselors
Financial Literacy Network Inc.
Florida Community Loan Fund
Florida Low Income Housing Associates Inc.
Franklin County, Ohio
George Washington University-Professor Gregory Squires
Global One Development Center
Grass Roots Organizing, MO
Greater Boston Legal Services
Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund
Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition
Habitat For Humanity Of WA State
Harlingen Community Development Corporation
Hartford Community Loan Fund Inc.
Hazard Hill / Branch CDC
HBC Services Inc.
High Plains Community Development Corp.
Hispanic American Chamber Of Commerce Of Greater Boston
Home Repair Resource Center
Housing Action Coalition Of Rhode Island
Housing Action Illinois
Housing Alliance Of Pennsylvania
Housing America Corporation
Housing Association Of Nonprofit Developers
Housing Development Fund Inc.
Housing Education And Economic Development (HEED)
Housing Education Resource Center
Housing Network Of Rhode Island
Housing Opportunities Collaborative
Housing Opportunities Made Equal Of Virginia
Housing Opportunities Project For Excellence Inc.
Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc.
Housing Research & Advocacy Center
Housing Resources Of Western Colorado Illinois People’s Action
Indiana Association For Community Economic Development Inc.
Indiana Community Action Association Inc.-Region 5
Inland Fair Housing Mediation Board
Insight Center For Community And Economic Development
Instituto Socio-Economico Comunitario, Inc.
Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement
Iowa Home Ownership Education Project Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Jewish Community Action
Justine Petersen Housing And Reinvestment Inc
Lake View Towers Residents Association Inc.
Legal Assistance Resource Center Of Conn.
Local Economic And Employment Development Council Inc. (LEED Council)
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Long Island Housing Services Inc.
Los Angeles LDC Inc.
Macoupin County Housing Authority
Main Street Birmingham, Inc.
Maine Affordable Housing Coalition
Maryland Cash Campaign
Mason City Human Rights Commission
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
Massachusetts Association Of Community Development Corporations
Massachusetts Community Action Network
MEO Business Development Corporation
Metro St. Louis Coalition For Inclusion & Equity (M-Slice)
Metropolitan Consortium Of Community Developers
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council
Miami Valley Fair Housing Center Inc.
Miami-Dade Affordable Housing Foundation Inc.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
Movin’ Out, Inc.
Mt. Pleasant Community Zone
NAACP Mississippi State Conference
NC Institute Of Minority Economic Development
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project
Neighborhood Housing Services Of Greater Cleveland
Neighborhood Housing Services Of South Florida
Neighborhood Legal Services Of LA County
Neighborhood Recovery CDC
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Orleans Neighborhood Development Foundation
New Orleans Redevelopment Authority
New York City AIDS Housing Network
New York State Rural Housing Coalition Inc.
Northeast Denver Housing Center
Northern New England Housing Investment Fund
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance
Oakpark Regional Housing Center
Opening Doors Inc.
Oregon Opportunity Network
Organizing Neighborhood Equality, DC
Pacific Asian Consortium In Employment (PACE)
Partners In Community Building Inc.
Partnership For Fair Housing Center Of SW Michigan
People Organized For Westside Renewal, Los Angeles
People United For Sustainable Housing
People’s Self-Help Housing Corporation
Philadelphia Association Of CDC
Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Phoenix Housing Counseling Non-Profit Inc.
Piedmont Housing Alliance
Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
Pride Through Empowerment Foundation
Quitman County Development Organization, Inc.
Raleigh Area Development Authority
Reach Community Development Inc.
River City Community Development Corporation
Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation
Rural Development And Finance Corporation
Rural Housing Inc.
Sacramento Home Loan Counseling Center
San Diego Reinvestment Task Force
Scott County Housing Council
Select Milwaukee, Inc.
Small Business Alliance Of Central Florida-The
South Austin Coalition Community Council
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S. Inc.
South Shore Chamber Inc.
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc.
Southern Mutual Help Association Inc.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern Regional Community Reinvestment Corporation
Southwest Fair Housing Council
Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone
Spanish Coalition For Housing
Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium
St. Johns Housing Partnership
St. Mary Development Corporation
St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.
Sunflower Community Action
Sunnyside Up Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corp.
Syracuse United Neighborhoods
Texas Association Of Community Development Corporations
Toledo Fair Housing Center
Unidos Para La Gente
United Community Center
United Neighborhood Centers Of Northeastern Pennsylvania
United Neighbors Inc.
United Planning Organization
United South Broadway Corporation
Urban Economic Development Association Of Wisconsin Inc.
Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation
WIN Action Organizing Project
We Help Community Development Corp
West Central Missouri Community Action Agency
West Humboldt Park Family & Community Development Council
West Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Westchester Residential Opportunities Inc.
Western New York Law Center Inc.
Western States Center
Women’s Business Development Center