WHEREAS, CRA imposes an affirmative and continual obligation on banks and thrifts to meet the needs of the local communities in which they are chartered;

WHEREAS, CRA has been instrumental in fighting discrimination and redlining against minority and working class communities;

WHEREAS, CRA has leveraged more than $4 trillion in loans and investments for low- and moderate-income communities according to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition;

WHEREAS, major studies, including those conducted by the United States Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and Harvard University, have found that CRA increases home mortgage lending to minority and low- and moderate-income communities and that this lending is profitable;

WHEREAS, CRA has leveraged a tremendous increase in home mortgage lending to minority and low- and moderate-income borrowers as compared to whites and middle-income borrowers. From 1993 through 2002, home mortgage lending has increased, 79.5% to Blacks, 185.8% to Hispanics, 29.6% to whites, 90.6% to low and moderate-income borrowers, and 51.4% to middle-income borrowers;

WHEREAS, CRA is indispensable in ensuring that banks and thrifts make branches and affordable checking accounts and banking services available to minority and working class communities. If banks retreat from these communities, the number of high cost payday lenders, check cashers, and predatory mortgage lenders will only increase;

WHEREAS, CRA is one of the most important tools that will help the Bush Administration to reach its goal of 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010; and

WHEREAS, federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies have repeatedly proposed changes that would weaken CRA.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors opposes proposals by the federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies to weaken CRA exams and regulations ensuring that banks abide by their obligations and make loans, investments, branches, and basic banking accounts available to low- and moderate-income communities.

2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352