Increasing Community Development Financing Data a Necessary Component for CRA Reform
Banks have made more than $1 trillion in community development lending from 1996 to 2017, benefiting low- and moderate-income communities, as a result of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements. While this level of financing is impressive, we do not know enough about where it is going in order to determine whether it is targeted effectively to the most underserved and distressed communities. In other words, we need better data. In a recent speech at the 2019 Just Economy Conference, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard suggested that data on community development financing is crucial to assess whether banks are properly responding to neighborhood needs with their CRA financing.