Community Development Innovation Review

February 2009

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

Described by Congressman Barney Frank as “a market-friendly model” for bank reform, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was passed by Congress in 19772 to fuel reinvestment as a cure for urban blight, and to promote access to mortgage capital to remedy the adverse implications of persistent redlining. In deference to concerns about unsound and unprofitable loans, the CRA did not establish specific benchmarks or levels of credit, nor did it provide much guidance as to how regulators should evaluate bank performance. Instead, the CRA created an affirmative obligation for banks to reinvest in poor communities.

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Other articles in this issue

Expanding the CRA to All Financial Institutions

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

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

CRA 2.0: Communities 2.0

What Lessons Does the CRA Offer the Insurance Industry?

A Framework for Revisiting the CRA

CRA Lending During the Subprime Meltdown

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 Community Reinvestment Act and the Recent Mortgage Crisis