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New report finds no evidence to discredit CRA in subprime housing boom—again

by Sarah Jawaid, National Housing Conference

A new report from the UNC Center for Community Capital shows an overwhelming body of research demonstrating that CRA encourages safe, affordable lending. This refutes claims in an National Bureau of Economic Research working paper about the Community Reinvestment Act’s effect on subprime lending during the boom. The UNC report notes that CRA has come under attack before and the claims against it debunked by researchers and industry experts time and time again. The authors conclude, “Rather than trying to place blame where none exists, we argue that the focus of the debate should be on how CRA can be modernized and improved to better reflect the current financial services landscape and meet the continuing credit needs of America’s communities.”

The UNC report was authored by Carolina Reid, assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley along with:

  • Mark A. Willis, resident research fellow, NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy (and NHC board member)
  • Ellen Seidman, former director, Office of Thrift Supervision
  • Lei Ding, assistant professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University
  • Josh Silver, vice president of research and policy, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • Janneke Ratcliffe, executive director, UNC Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Read the report, “Debunking the CRA Myth—Again”.

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