Rural Issues

Jennifer Emerling/ There Is More Work To Be Done

The Community Reinvestment Act in Rural America

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), adopted in 1977, requires federally-insured depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their entire communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Assessments of CRA’s scope and effectiveness are typically conducted at a market-specific level, and those markets analyzed are almost exclusively metropolitan or urban in nature. Very little is known about the implementation of CRA in the rural context.

In an effort to fill that knowledge gap, HAC regularly conducts research and analysis of CRA and its implementation in rural areas.

Rural Research Reports

  • CRA in Rural America

    The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) conducted a general assessment to provide a better understanding of CRA’s implementation in rural communities. The report focuses on mortgage lending and CRA.

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  • Making CRA Work in Rural America: Partnerships and Opportunities for Rural Community Reinvestment

    This report serves to increase our knowledge of how CRA can work in rural areas by focusing on four successful rural community development projects. The case studies in this report explore a preschool expansion in Maine, construction of rental housing for farmworkers in Colorado, construction of low- and moderate income housing in Minnesota, and the donation of a bank branch to a local credit union in Mississippi.

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  • Making CRA Work in Rural America: Finding “Outstanding” Financial Institutions

    This report takes a closer look at lenders who consistently excel in meeting their CRA obligations. Is this a common phenomenon? Are there things which these lenders have in common? This research begins a discussion about how we can learn from those lenders which already do an outstanding job of providing credit to all of their service areas.

    Read the report