Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Putting Race Explicitly into the CRA

Author(s):

February 2009

Community Development Investment Review

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was designed to correct market failures thirty years ago. The reimagining of CRA must address the remnants of twentieth-century market and government failures with twenty-first century solutions. Financial institutions and regulators must revisit the intent of the CRA, which states that regulators are “to assess an institution’s record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community [emphasis added], including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institution.” I proffer that the entire community includes racial and ethnic minorities, and the CRA should be expanded to address directly these underserved parts of the community.

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