Community Development Innovation Review

February 2009

The Community Reinvestment Act: 30 Years of Wealth Building and What We Must Do to Finish the Job


The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a comprehensive law that has leveraged trillions of dollars in loans, investments, and bank services for minority and working-class neighborhoods. The CRA was passed in 1977 in response to the refusal of some banks to make loans available in minority and working-class communities. Since that time, the CRA has placed a continuing and affirmative obligation on banks to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they operate. Further, not only has the CRA successfully deterred discrimination in lending, but it has also required that banks proactively assess and serve community needs in a safe and sound manner.

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Other articles in this issue

CRA Lending During the Subprime Meltdown

A Banker’s Quick Reference Guide to CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act: Good Goals, Flawed Concept

A Principle-Based Redesign of HMDA and CRA Data

Community Reinvestment Emerging from the Housing Crisis

Putting Race Explicitly into the CRA

The CRA as a Means to Provide Public Goods

CRA 2.0: Communities 2.0

What Lessons Does the CRA Offer the Insurance Industry?

Expanding the CRA to All Financial Institutions

A Framework for Revisiting the CRA

A More Modern CRA for Consumers

The Community Reinvestment Act: Past Successes and Future Opportunities

A Tradable Obligation Approach to the Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act at 30 Years

It’s the Rating, Stupid: A Banker’s Perspective on the CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act: Outstanding, and Needs to Improve

The CRA within a Changing Financial Landscape

The 30th Anniversary of the CRA: Restructuring the CRA to Address the Mortgage Finance Revolution

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Recent Mortgage Crisis