CDFI Leaders’ Op-Ed Calls for CRA Reform To Tackle Rural Poverty
American Banker recently published an op-ed authored by CDFI leaders Bill Bynum (Hope Enterprise Corporation), Chrystel Cornelius (First Nations Oweesta Corporation), and Ines Polonius (Communities Unlimited) advocating for CRA reform that considerably increases support for rural CDFIs and the communities they serve.
Citing recent research from the Housing Assistance Council that found that rural America has lost over half its banks in the last few decades, Bynum, Cornelius, and Polonius urged several reform measures to current CRA legislation, such as expanding CRA assessment areas to include more rural communities and increasing incentives for banks to partner with CDFIs.
They also noted that of the 21 million Americans living in 473 persistent poverty counties, 70 percent of those counties are rural and comprise a diverse range of populations, including black families in the Mississippi Delta and the Alabama Black Belt, Latinos along the southern border and the central valley of California, Native Americans residing on sovereign lands, and white families in Appalachia.
Read the full op-ed here.