The Community Reinvestment Act: A Primer

American Action Forum cited CEI’s Michelle Minton’s “The Community Reinvestment Act’s Harmful Legacy” report.

In assessing the CRA, it is useful to look at how it is achieving its goals, and whether it is functioning the way it is supposed to today. The CRA outlawed redlining, ending that particular practice, but it is less clear whether the law actually expanded access to credit and banking services in low-income neighborhoods. A Competitive Enterprise Institute study notes that “the Community Reinvestment Act does not appear to have had any positive effect on lending to residents of [low- and middle-income] neighborhoods. In fact, it appears to have had a negative effect on CRA lenders and [low- and middle-income] residents alike.”

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