We need a financial system grounded in fairness. We need a strong Community Reinvestment Act.

#TreasureCRA

Under the current federal administration, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) continues to be under attack. The biggest challenge to equitable access to capital in decades has just begun.

Your voice is needed NOW more than ever. After almost two years in the making, the Office for the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). This notice is the largest restructuring of the CRA since its creation in 1977. The proposed changes are threatening to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a vital civil rights statute passed in 1977 to end discrimination known as redlining. Discrimination in lending remains prevalent and disturbing for the poor and communities of color. This proposal weakens bank rules that need to be strengthened. We can’t let that happen, and we’ll need your help TODAY.

The government opened up for public comments a plan to radically change and diminish the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Public Comment Period on proposed CRA rule changes opened January 9, 2020. Comments are due by April 8, 2020. The number of comments really matter! These rule changes will have a major impact on the bank investments, loans, and services banks in low- and moderate-income communities.

The best way to make your voice heard is by submitting a comment letter by April 8th, 2020. PCRG has created a template letter that you can tailor it to your community’s needs. The OCC and FDIC are wary of counting letters that are simply sign-on, so it is imperative that you add insight from your organization and your community. If you go here you can find more template letters, messaging, and other materials for your letter from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.  Click here for PCRG Comment Letter Template_2020.

How to submit your comment letter:

1)      Go to www.regulations.gov

2)      In the search bar paste “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008”

3)      Click on the “Comment Now!” button on the right side of the screen

4)      Either paste your comment letter into the blank field or upload a .pdf

5)      Review your submission and click the “Submit Comment” button

6)      Send PCRG staff a copy of your letter once submitted

 

PCRG was organized in 1988 as a coalition of community-based organizations to provide a coordinated response to the bank practice of “redlining” – the refusal of conventional mortgage credit in low-income communities. The CRA is the entire foundation of the work we do – that equitable access to capital is the foundation of a thriving community.

Reforming CRA must not become a pretext for relaxing CRA. Here are four principles PCRG believes CRA should include for a modern CRA:

1) Don’t strip ‘community’ out of a law that’s supposed to strengthen communities.

2) Protect communities of color with explicit language against racial discrimination.

3) Keep all lenders accountable.

4) Set a clearly-defined CRA grading system.

If using social media please include hashtags: #defendCRAinPA and #TreasureCRA to help further your reach.

Interested in learning more information or joining the fight to #defendCRAinPA? Contact Alix Levy at alevy@pcrg.org to get involved or learn more about PCRG’s local advocacy work.