Affordable Housing Insiders Keep Close Eye on CRA Reform Proposals

 

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been around for more than 40 years and its current regulations are 23 years old.

“I think it’s needed,” said Tony Alfieri, managing director of tax credit investors at RBC Capital Markets. “[CRA regulations] have been out there over 40 years and change is needed because the banks’ operating landscape has changed dramatically. It’s also needed [to improve] efficiency.”

The CRA requires three agencies–the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Investment Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve (Fed)–to oversee whether depository institutions meet the credit needs of their surrounding communities, particularly low and moderate-income neighborhoods. One of the biggest factors in that is affordable housing, which has increasingly been defined by investment in low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity.