What Impact did CRA have on Community Work in the Bronx, What Impact Can it Have Today?
- Jumelia Abrahamson, Director of UNHP’s Northwest Bronx Resource Center
- Bill Frey, Enterprise Community Partners
- Gregory Jost, Organizing Director of Banana Kelly/Undesign the Redline
- Jaime Weisberg, Senior Campaign Analyst, ANHD
The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition(NWBCCC), a grass roots organizing effort that encompassed the neighborhoods from the Cross Bronx Expressway to the County line, was created in 1974 at a time when the City of New York was in a deep financial crisis and housing abandonment was rampant. The NWBCCC Reinvestment Committee was formed to address “redlining”, the refusal of lenders and insurance companies to lend or insure in “certain” areas. Tenant and community leaders became actively involved in Congressional passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977— which aimed to hold financial institutions accountable for their investment (or lack thereof) in communities — as well as in local efforts to get the City to target more resources toward the preservation and renovation of both City-owned and privately held apartment buildings. The success of the community organizing and community development work in the northwest Bronx and the implementation of the CRA are not coincidental.