Media Advisory

Communities of Color Economic Progress at Risk with Upcoming Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act

Landmark Law Shields Communities of Color from Discriminatory Lending Practices

December 10, 2019 

WASHINGTON, DC—The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a historic civil rights legislation designed to curb discriminatory lending practices against communities of color, is under threat. According to reports, the Trump administration intends to propose new regulations this month to overhaul this historic piece of legislation enacted in 1977 to stop bank’s “redlining”—the practice of refusing to extend credit for a mortgage, credit card or small business because of where a person lives.

UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, has been tracking this issue closely and is deeply concerned about the disparate impact this rule could have on communities of color, including Latinos, across the country.

According to a UnidosUS fact sheet, in 2017 alone, the law contributed $1.7 trillion in lending to these economically distressed areas, increased credit activity by 9 percent, and reduced the number of people with no credit scores or incomplete credit scores by 7 percent. These increases in lending have made homeownership—a critical part of wealth-building—attainable for millions of people, especially in communities of color and in the Latino community. Since 2014, the CRA has facilitated between 15 percent to as much as 35 percent of home loans to Latinos in low- to moderate-income areas. The CRA empowers historically disadvantaged communities and helps ensure that they have a real shot at achieving the American Dream.

UnidosUS opposes any attempts to strip the CRA of its original intent. To fulfill its mission, any update to the CRA should:

  1. Continue to weigh activities from physical branches more than ATMs and mobile lending.
  2. Not limit community development activities to certain categories or expand community development activities to include non-credit related activities.
  3. Give more weight to consumer lending products and mortgage originations.

For more information, please refer to UnidosUS’s fact sheet.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact:
Gabriela Gomez
news@unidosus.org
(202) 776-1732