Reassessing Low-Income Households MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. I, No. 7 September 1994

Summary

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA) is once again in the spotlight. Initiatives to reform and modify CRA—which requires lenders to meet the credit needs of their local communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods—are under way as legislators and financial regulators seek to improve accessibility of financial services to households and small businesses in low-income areas. The overall desire of legislators to tighten CRA regulations and expand their reach—by extending the mandate to all types of financial institutions and not just to banks—will certainly influence the intent and substance of the new CRA legislation. Already, Congress has taken the first steps toward requiring the insurance industry to meet CRA requirements similar to those long faced by banks.