Sign-On Letter to Chairman Frank – Aug. 16, 2010

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 (dspencer@ncrc.org) at National Community Reinvestment Coalition or Liz Ryan Murray, Senior Policy Analyst (lizryanmurray@gmail.com) at National People’s Action.

Organizations that have signed on so far!!

National Organizations:

AFL-CIO

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

American Community Partnerships

Center For Responsible Lending (CRL)

Consumer Action

Consumers Union

Demos

Greenlining Institute

HomeFree USA

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:

ACCION Texas

ACTION-Housing Inc.

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

Clearinghouse CDFI

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.

Couleecap Inc.

Covenant Faith Outreach Ministries/Covenant Community Development Corp.

Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc.

Democracy Collaborative

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

Homeward Inc.

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

Manna, Inc.

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

Pathstone

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

Quitman County Development Organization, Inc.

RAFI-USA

Raleigh Area Development Authority

Reach Community Development Inc.

RISE Foundation

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.

Self-Help Enterprises

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 CDC

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

TakeAction Minnesota

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 Company

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

Woodstock Institute

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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

Complete the form to download the full report: