The Hill: Why Reform a Lending Law That We May Not Need at All?

The Hill, April 15, 2022, Why reform a lending law that we may not need at all?

In a March 1 letter to bank regulators, 123 organizations expressed support for seven additions to existing CRA requirements, which focus on lending and other banking services in neighborhoods in which traditional, regulated banks have branches. Led by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the letter seeks to add explicit race-based lending requirements to existing CRA clauses because of “persistent and worsening racial inequality”; to reward banks that undertake “environmental remediation for communities of color”; and to “assist in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.”

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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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