Enterprise Shares Priorities for a Modernized Community Reinvestment Act

At the end of August, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) soliciting public feedback on possible regulatory changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a 1977 law that requires financial institutions to lend and invest where they accept deposits, including in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. The affordable housing and community development industry has greatly benefited from CRA: the law has been an important driver of financial institution investments in nonprofit organizations, the Housing Credit, NMTC, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) among other critical activities benefiting LMI communities and residents. Estimates suggest that banks have made $796 billion in community development loans since 1996, supporting affordable housing and community development projects benefiting LMI communities and individuals. Enterprise’s aim for modernized CRA regulations is to ensure a consistent, transparent system that properly gives banks credit for sound community development work. This includes retaining a focus on affordable housing, updating assessment areas to address national challenges, and moving to a more metrics-based system that neither directly nor indirectly reduces total lending and investment under CRA. We strongly urge all industry stakeholders to submit comments by the November 19 deadline (next Monday) in support of retaining CRA regulations that emphasize robust investment in affordable housing and community development.

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