Overview

The CRA was originally passed in 1977 in response to systemic redlining and disinvestment. The CRA is one of a series of civil rights laws passed around the same time, including the Fair Housing Act and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). 

Under the CRA and other fair lending and consumer protection laws, banks have a responsibility to reinvest and lend equitably and responsibly in our communities.  The CRA only works if we use it!  Rather than preserve, better enforce, and strengthen the CRA, the Trump Administration wants to substantially weaken it. Through the CRA, community members and organizations have regular opportunities to engage with banks and bank regulators on how well they are meeting local needs.  ANHD is now working to preserve and strengthen the CRA.

The Project

ANHD has a long-standing history of working to ensure that the CRA is upheld, and that New York City’s marginalized communities are reinvested in sufficiently and responsibly. We use our original research, expertise in the CRA and other bank regulations, and our network of community groups to regularly participate in the regulatory process.  In response to recent threats to the CRA, we are now also focusing our attention to advocate for the CRA to be preserved and strengthened.

The CRA Must Be Preserved & Strengthened!

How do CRA-Regulated banks help you and your community?

  • Bank branches and affordable, accessible banking products
  • Affordable mortgages to buy a home or stay in a home
  • Loans to help small businesses operate and expand
  • Financing for affordable housing, economic development, and community services – the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is just one example
  • Investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions that serve individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit developers
  • Philanthropic grants to nonprofits that develop, advocate for, and support affordable housing, economic development, financial empowerment, and community services

Why do we need to preserve & strengthen the CRA?

  • Discrimination in lending is still a problem for Black and Brown people.
  • Speculative multifamily lending and lending to bad acting landlords contributes to harassment and displacement.
  • Banks continue to close branches and charge high fees for banking.
  • CRA covered lending is safer and less likely to result in foreclosure than non-CRA covered lending.
  • Online bank lenders lend nationwide yet are only evaluated on their lending around their headquarters. Non-bank lenders are not covered by the CRA, meaning no regulator evaluates how equitably they are lending, nor do they have any obligation to reinvest in local communities.
  • Low-income communities of color have disproportionally fewer bank branches and do not have the banking products they need to conduct transactions and build wealth.

The OCC is proposing changes that threaten the very heart of the CRA, and put at risk the work we all do to serve and empower lower-income communities of color.

Learn more about those threats.

We must fight for the right priorities. Click "read more" to see our priorities or download a copy here.

  1. Banks should be evaluated on the quantity, quality and impact of their activities within the local communities they serve and based on the needs of these local communities. Incentivize high quality, responsive activities that lift historically redlined people – people of color and low- and moderate-income people – out of poverty and help reduce wealth and income disparities. Downgrade banks that finance activities that cause displacement and harm.
  2. Community input and community needs must be at the heart of the CRA. Strong community needs assessment and community engagement should inform community needs and how examiners evaluate how well banks are meeting those needs
  3. Assessment areas must maintain local obligations. The CRA must maintain the place-based commitment banks have to local communities.
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Take Action

Fair Lending Data at Risk!

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) records nearly every mortgage application in the country by census tract. It also tracks data on the outcomes of these loans as well as who is and isn’t getting mortgages based on race, ethnicity, gender, income, age, location, and more. Dodd Frank added myriad new data points to help analyze affordability, pricing, interest rates, and loan characteristics of 1-4 family and multifamily lending that can reveal further lending disparities and signs of predatory lending. The CFPB is now looking to roll back much of that data and limit the number of lenders who report to HMDA at all.

Learn more about why this important data is at risk.

Recent Blogs and Media

Blog
October 22, 2019
Evictions Upend Lives and Can Tear Families Apart – and Now They Can Be Prevented
Blog
October 17, 2019
ANHD Condemns the Trump Administration’s Proposals to Gut the Fair Housing Act

Related Resources

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now looking to roll back Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and limit the number of lenders who report to HMDA at all.
Act Now to Protect and Strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)! Comments due November 19th
Trends in 1-4 family home lending in NYC based on newly released Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from 2016
An annual analysis of local bank reinvestment activity and the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act
An annual analysis of local bank reinvestment activity and the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act
Recent trends in 1-4 family home lending in NYC based on newly released Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data from 2012 to 2014
An analysis of economic development-related bank reinvestment activity in NYC, how the Community Reinvestment Act support economic development activities, and the lost opportunities in NYC.
Testimony on the value, impact, and importance of the CRA and recommendations for it moving forward.
An annual analysis of local bank reinvestment activity and the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act

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