Community Development Investment 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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