Today OFN issued a statement following the U.S. Department of Treasury's recommendations to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
In the statement, OFN president and CEO Lisa Mensah commended the Treasury "for developing a thoughtful set of recommendations." In addition, Lisa noted “CRA plays a critical role in increasing bank investment in low- and moderate-income communities—including through direct investments in CDFIs. Most banks satisfy much of their CRA obligations through direct lending but many also invest in CDFIs which has allowed CDFIs to expand lending to small businesses, microenterprises, affordable housing, community facilities, and commercial real estate development in low- and moderate-income communities. In 2005, bank loans comprised 38% ($731 million) of OFN member CDFI loan funds’ borrowed capital, increasing to 54% ($2.8 billion) in 2016. OFN member CDFI loan funds used the $2.8 billion from banks to lend $3.3 billion, creating or preserving 154,600 jobs; 382,000 housing units; 12,000 childcare seats; 107,000 education seats; and 788,000 healthcare patients.”working with the Treasury Department and bank regulators on reforming CRA policy and practice to improve access to credit and capital for regions of the country lacking adequate investment and financial services”
Read the full press release from the U.S. Department of Treasury here.
Bank regulators are expected to release their own proposed reforms, which may or may not track the Treasury Department’s recommendations. OFN will closely monitor the recommendations and report out.