The Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and is seeking public comment on ways to reform the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). CRA was enacted in 1977 largely as a response to redlining, a discriminatory practice in which banks would deny loans to residents living in low-income neighborhoods, often those with large minority populations. The law requires financial institutions to lend to and invest in communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. CRA has played a significant role in encouraging financial institutions to invest in affordable housing programs and incentives, such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is only one of three regulators that enforce the CRA, along with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In order for there to be productive CRA reform, all three regulators must support it. Thus, making the ANPR is the first step in a long rulemaking process. The CRA has not been reformed in over 20 years, making this a vital moment to ensure this CRA reform results in increased lending, services and investment in underserved communities.
The National Housing Conference has convened a CRA Working Group made up of interested members. It’s not too late for you to participate. If you are not an NHC member, you can also join now at a reduced rate. Contact Amanda Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.