Community Reinvestment Act Has Played Critical Role, Greenlining Institute Says
Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Today the Trump administration’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released a proposal for updating the Community Reinvestment Act, a landmark anti-redlining law first enacted in 1977. The Greenlining Institute urged a stronger, more specific focus on modern forms of redlining that continue to keep communities of color largely locked out of homeownership.
“The CRA has been a strong, and important tool to curb redlining and assure fair access to credit for all, but it needs to be modernized and strengthened,” said Greenlining Institute Senior Economic Equity Program Manager Rawan Elhalaby. “It appears that the Trump administration wants to move in the wrong direction and seeks to weaken this vital law. This would be a serious blow to communities of color, and especially women of color, who are already on the wrong side of the homeownership gap.”
Extensive research has found that the CRA did much to curb redlining, the now-banned practice of denying loans and investment in communities of color. But the Great Recession sent the homeownership gap between Blacks, Whites and nonwhite Hispanics back to pre-CRA levels. Reporting by the investigative news outlet Reveal has shown that lending discrimination, effectively a modern-day form of redlining, persists.
As stated in comments to the OCC last year, The Greenlining Institute and 54-member Greenlining Coalition believe that CRA needs an update, but changes should modernize and maintain the spirit of the law, reflecting persisting needs in low and moderate-income neighborhoods and communities of color as well as changes in our financial systems. Changes should not weaken the law by making it easier for banks to fulfill their CRA obligations. This appears to be the intent of Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, who in the past has expressed hostility to the law.
Advocates and organizations representing communities that have been victims of financially discrimination are urged to contact The Greenlining Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the fight for financial fairness.