WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously to approve an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The National Housing Conference (NHC) applauds the Fed’s approach taken in the ANPR, which lays the groundwork for aligning all three regulators – including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) – in a united regulatory regime, and is likely to improve investment to low- and moderate-income households and communities, and clarify examination requirements.
“In a year where partisanship has tainted every corner of political discourse, this is a refreshing exception,” said NHC President and CEO David M. Dworkin. “The Fed’s unanimous support for a modernized approach to CRA sets the table for the FDIC and OCC to come together on a unified approach.”
NHC strongly opposed the final rule published by the OCC earlier this year, arguing that it gutted CRA and eliminated the fundamental value of the statute. The ANPR approved by the Federal Reserve today, however, resurrects the opportunity for the FDIC and OCC to agree on a stronger rulemaking that continues to foster lending and investment to communities across the country for years to come.
“This could not have been possible without the leadership of Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard with the support of Chairman Jerome Powell,” said Dworkin. “Getting the full support of all of the Trump appointees is a major accomplishment and shows that bipartisanship is not dead yet.”
The ANPR offers a model of CRA modernization that significantly improves the current system, while circumventing a wholesale revision of the compliance regime under which current bank CRA activities are managed and avoiding the risk of gentrification embedded in the OCC’s approach. “There is no point in improving communities if we are just going to displace the people we are trying to help and move them to other neighborhoods that will need CRA in the future. We have to help communities and the people who live there,” said Dworkin.
NHC looks forward to continuing to work with the Fed, OCC and FDIC as they revise and eventually finalize the CRA rulemaking. NHC will reconvene its CRA Working Group and coordinate with members and other industry stakeholders to respond to the ANPR, which includes a 120-day comment period.
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About NHC: The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.