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The ANHD Blog raises the profile of our issues, and educates our member groups, city decision makers, and the general public on our core issue areas. The ANHD Blog offers sharp, timely and effective commentary on key public policy issues, as well as our work and the work of our member groups.

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ANHD Raises the Alarm for a Community Reinvestment Act That Works for Us

March 5, 2020

ANHD Talks Responsible Banking at NYU Furman Center & the U.S. House of Representatives

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is one of a series of civil rights laws passed in the 1960s and 70s in response to systemic redlining, discrimination, and disinvestment. The CRA has leveraged at least $2 trillion dollars nationwide since 1996, and in the past five years alone, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing (ANHD) has documented close to $10 billion each year reinvested in New York City. The CRA has leveraged and supported partnerships, products, practices, and developments benefiting low-income communities and communities of color. But for all its benefits, inequities persist.

As you drive through stretches of southeast Queens for example, you will see many check cashers and private ATMs, but not a single bank branch. Storefronts remain vacant as small businesses face rising rents and lack of access to capital and affordable loans to stay in their communities. And the need for more deeply and permanently affordable housing is large and growing.

ANHD’s Senior Campaign Analyst Jaime Weisberg spoke in front of 200+ community development practitioners from New York City banks, non-profits, and the government sector at the NYU Furman Center’s policy breakfast this week on Insights into the Proposed Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act. She talked about how the proposed changes to the CRA put forward by the Trump Administration threaten the type of banking and investment our communities need to thrive.

“Despite the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Comptroller Otting’s stated goals for CRA reform, the proposal put forward is less transparent, more complicated, and will lead to less investment and less meaningful investment in low-income communities and communities of color."

ANHD Member Hope Knight, President & CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, spoke about how her organization has been working to combat the decades of redlining and discrimination her community of Jamaica, Queens has endured.

ANHD, along with our member Chhaya Community Development Corporation, will speak before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services for their Modern-Day Redlining: The Burden on Underbanked and Excluded Committee in New York event tomorrow in Queens. We, our members, and our allies have been raising the alarm that the proposed changes to the CRA will threaten unbanked and underbanked communities like Queens, and we plan to raise that alarm even louder at the event.

The proposed changes to the CRA will remove incentives for maintaining and expanding branch networks and affordable products in low-income communities of color throughout New York City. It will also undermine impactful home loans, small business loans, and community development investments that our communities need to build wealth and thrive – while at the same time cutting out the opportunity for community input. This is the wrong approach!

We have until April 8th to make our voices heard. Visit our website to learn how to tell the Trump Administration that you want a law that works for your community, not against it.

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