Expand the Community Reinvestment Act to Bring Trillions MORE Dollars in Safe and Sound Investments to America's Neighborhoods

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 05:15.

I recently met with Marcia West, Regional Organizer for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), in Washington, DC, to explore how economically distressed communities should respond to the foreclosure and housing crises in America, to expand credit access for working-class residents - to learn what leaders of Northeast Ohio may do to improve access to loans for housing and community development for us common folk. The short answer is "Expand the Community Reinvestment Act to Bring Billions of Dollars in Safe and Sound Investments to America's Neighborhoods" - go to Expand CRA to learn more and contact your representatives... SPREAD THE WORD!

CRA encourages banks to respond to a variety of needs in low- and moderate-income communities, including the financing of affordable rental housing, sustainable homeownership, small business creation, and economic development projects.

NCRC is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development and vibrant communities for America's working families. Their mission is "To increase fair & equal access to credit, capital, and banking services/products because discrimination is illegal, unjust and detrimental to the economic growth of underserved communities in the United States and around the world."

The City of Cleveland is a member of NCRC, and our CDCs should be active members as well - I am compiling a list of NCRC member organizations concerned with the sustainability of this region - all should be vocal and active supporting expanding CRA!

TODAY, they need the help of the CITIZENS OF NORTHEAST OHIO and the entire community development world to contact CONGRESS - IN THIS LAME DUCK PRE HOLIDAY SESSION - and tell our representatives to PASS HR 6334, the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010, introduced in the House on September 29 to EXPAND THE COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT!

To rebuild the Northeast Ohio economy - and make it socially-just and sustainable here - we must address the still-snowballing foreclosure, credit, lending and housing crises that have decimated middle- and lower-income family wealth and stability in America... and pounded many neighborhoods of Ohio this past decade, and especially since 2007.

As predatory lenders flooded America with unethical subprime financing, under too-lax regulation, with an absence of adequate systemic Federal oversight - largely at arm's-length from mainstreet banking - they inflated credit and housing bubbles, and a massive percentage of American families fell under unsustainable, often unethical housing burdens, exorbitant fees and crippling debts (compounded by lax, high interest auto, credit card and consumer loan debt), breaking the financial stability, confidence and backs of American citizens, pushing America into recession and high unemployment, driving much of the American working-and-below-class into insolvency and onto the streets... their houses to be boarded up, land-banked, demolished or otherwise disposed-of by the unjust systems that over-indebted and mis-leveraged the working-class in the first place.

While we may battle many challenges in rebuilding Northeast Ohio, most important to the stability of our economy and the well-being of residents here is stopping the decimation of the wealth of our families and neighborhoods from the harm of foreclosure-related corruption... unjust business, legal and political leadership.... AND their predatory lending systems.... while expanding the flow of investment, loans and capital to low-and-middle-income residents of poor and underserved communities, who have been especially hard hit by the credit crisis now upon them.

We need to reestablish bankability for those citizens disembanked from our neighborhoods and society, against their good will and best means, when those means are sufficient to in fact sustain citizens under fair housing and lending terms and conditions.

One of the most important Federal government tools for ensuring fair, equitable flows of loans, capital investments and services from banks in America to the communities they serve is the Community Reinvestment Act, which rates banks on their performance lending to underserved populations.

Low CRA ratings may impact banks' ability to expand or merge, and the CRA has clearly had an impact on banks in Northeast Ohio, encouraging them to expand services in poor areas, to underserved people, to improve their standing with CRA.

See how your bank rates here... mine got just "satisfactory", and I agree... we are shopping for a new bank and now are most impressed with Key Bank, which consistently ranks "outstanding" with CRA.

From the CRA website: "The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), enacted by Congress in 1977 (12 U.S.C. 2901) and implemented by Regulations 12 CFR parts 25, 228, 345, and 563e, is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate."

While CRA encourages fair lending by banks to low and middle income residents of poorer neighborhoods - urban and rural - and so CRA increases banks' exposure in supposedly high-risk communities, to high-risk customers, CRA fair lending programs have driven over $1 TRILLION in private investment into underserved communities, at no direct cost to taxpayers (referred to as deficit-neutral), and loans from CRA-rated institutions are not cratering with the rest of the American credit and real estate economies, during this brutal recession... they are NOT in fact high-risk nor speculative, but productive. From CRA:

  • CRA encourages banks to respond to a variety of needs in low- and moderate-income communities, including the financing of affordable rental housing, sustainable homeownership, small business creation, and economic development projects.
  • Since 1996, banks have made community development loans totaling more than $407 billion. They also made small business loans of more than $581 billion in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods from 1996 through 2007.
  • CRA mitigates foreclosures. CRA exams provide points to banks for foreclosure prevention efforts including counseling and loan modification. CRA exams also penalize banks for making loans that are unfair and deceptive.
  • CRA-covered banks have consistently issued a smaller percentage of high-cost loans over the last several years than have independent mortgage companies not covered by CRA. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve Board, only 6 percent of all high-cost loans in 2006 were reported on CRA exams. Had CRA been applied more broadly throughout the financial services industry, one could argue that the foreclosure crisis would not have occurred.

Yet - not surprising, in these politicized times - CRA has come under attack from some right-wing extremists as a cause of the bank and housing meltdowns in America, actually caused outside CRA oversight. These attacks against CRA are part of industrial efforts to minimize government oversight of financial industries in general, and to prevent expansion of CRA to rate financial institutions currently beyond their oversight, like credit unions and subprime mortgage lenders.

As reported in the American Prospect, in April 2008 -  "Conservatives blame the housing crisis on a 1977 law that helps-low income people get mortgages. It's a useful story for them, but it isn't true." - "The idea started on the outer precincts of the right. Thomas DiLorenzo, an economist who calls Ron Paul "the Jefferson of our time," wrote in September that the housing crisis is "the direct result of thirty years of government policy that has forced banks to make bad loans to un-creditworthy borrowers." The policy DiLorenzo decries is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to lend throughout the communities they serve."

Yet, from American Prospect, "CRA applies only to banks and thrifts that are federally insured; it's conceived as a quid pro quo for that privilege, among others. This means the law doesn't apply to independent mortgage companies (or payday lenders, check-cashers, etc.)". The author points out...:

First, consider timing. CRA was enacted in 1977. The sub-prime lending at the heart of the current crisis exploded a full quarter century later. In the mid-1990s, new CRA regulations and a wave of mergers led to a flurry of CRA activity, but, as noted by the New America Foundation's Ellen Seidman (and by Harvard's Joint Center), that activity "largely came to an end by 2001." In late 2004, the Bush administration announced plans to sharply weaken CRA regulations, pulling small and mid-sized banks out from under the law's toughest standards. Yet sub-prime lending continued, and even intensified -- at the very time when activity under CRA had slowed and the law had weakened.

Second, it is hard to blame CRA for the mortgage meltdown when CRA doesn't even apply to most of the loans that are behind it. As the University of Michigan's Michael Barr points out, half of sub-prime loans came from those mortgage companies beyond the reach of CRA. A further 25 to 30 percent came from bank subsidiaries and affiliates, which come under CRA to varying degrees but not as fully as banks themselves. (With affiliates, banks can choose whether to count the loans.) Perhaps one in four sub-prime loans were made by the institutions fully governed by CRA.

Most important, the lenders subject to CRA have engaged in less, not more, of the most dangerous lending. Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, offers the killer statistic: Independent mortgage companies, which are not covered by CRA, made high-priced loans at more than twice the rate of the banks and thrifts. With this in mind, Yellen specifically rejects the "tendency to conflate the current problems in the sub-prime market with CRA-motivated lending.? CRA, Yellen says, "has increased the volume of responsible lending to low- and moderate-income households." 

Honest Republicans agree.

Think Progress reports - and starting around minute 3:50, the video above shows - outgoing South Carolina Republican Representative Bob Inglis has criticized those on the right who blamed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for causing the 2008 financial crisis:

INGLIS: What I’m supposed to do as a Republican is just echo back to you Anne that yes, CRA was the cause of the financial meltdown in October of 2008. And if I said that to you I’d be clearly wrong because if you think about it, CRA had been around for decades. So how could it be that it caused the problem suddenly in October of 2008? … So therefore we can just establish it as a scapegoat. Democrats like it and we can of course put the racial hue on that and that makes it even more powerful. But if we do that, we go further away from the solution, the solution is to deal with those fundamental things, not pick up on scapegoats and run with it.

And, well-respected Republican Jack Kemp - Reagan's Housing Secretary - states above, "oh, by the way- the crisis...the financial crisis of America today was not caused by the Community Reinvestment Act. Let me just make it very very clear- the Community Reinvestment Act...I'm so sick of people in my party saying that making loans to low income people was Ipso Facto the cause of this breakdown of our financial institutions - nonsense." Oct.2008

In fact, it is in the best interests of America and all Americans to expand CRA, as currently proposed before congress... HR 6334, the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010.

The lack of CRA-type oversight beyond banking is a major reason for the rise and popping of the housing bubble, with uncreditworthy people getting loans under unethical terms from predatory lenders. Real CRA-regulated banks write real loans to real people, under really fair terms, under the watchful eyes of many regulatory agencies... and real people repay these fair loans... all with the help of CRA.

For that reason, the current bill before congress expands CRA oversight over the broader portfolio of community loan providers, to insure sufficient amounts of fair credit are provided to all citizens, so they are not entrapped in predatory loans... HR 6334, the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010.

Go to the EXPAND CRA website for complete information on this bill, the Community Reinvestment Act, and ways to inform your representatives on this important issue. There are tools there for contacting your representatives and supporters of HR 6334.

The Community Reinvestment Act is a subtle bill that brings massive investment to low and middle class urban and rural communities simply by helping to make loans available. It leverages a private sector commitment by banks to lend to the underserved, so it is considered deficit neutral. In fact, outcomes enabled by the loans and investments resulting from the CRA grow the economy, so it increases American Gross Domestic Product and so adds to the economy.

As I have learned more about CRA, I greatly appreciate its' significance. Since 1977, CRA has worked with the MAINSTREET bank industry to insure all BANKS make credit, capital and services available to underserved people, markets and communities, like found throughout Northeast Ohio.

Citizen outrage and activism against corruption in the financial world and at home is making great impact in changing local and federal policies to help residents keep their homes, but the battle has barely begun, and more policies must be changed at home and in Washington, DC, including by passing HR 6334, the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 to expand the CRA.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been one of our country’s most important laws for building wealth and revitalizing neighborhoods. The law requires banks to lend responsibly and to meet the credit needs of all communities, including Low- to moderate- income and minority neighborhoods. CRA is actually an antidote to the foreclosure crisis-- if the principles of CRA are strengthened and applied more broadly to other lending institutions, our country will be better equipped to avoid a large scale financial crisis in the future.

Go to the NCRC website here for more information on that pivotal organization - this is especially valuable if you are involved with government community organizing, social equity, fair housing and sustainable community development! Feel free to contact NCRC to discuss this issue and offer direct help!

Area mayors - Councilpeople - CDC Directors - County Executives - County CEOs - get on the phone to Marcia West at 202-383-7701 - email mwest [at] ncrc [dot] org - and ask how your organization may help pass this bill... don't sit on the sidelines and let this important legislation go lame... make this your hoilday gifts to your stakeholders. 

Here are the NCRC recommendations on HR 6334:

CRA continues to be the primary means for ensuring safe and responsible investments in low- and moderate- income communities. Traditionally underserved areas would benefit from the expansion of CRA throughout the financial services industry.

Government loans, investments, guarantees, and subsidies for the financial industry during the financial crisis have totaled more than $23 trillion. Given this level of government support, it is reasonable to enforce an industry-wide duty to serve the capital and credit needs of America’s communities consistent with safety and soundness. Expanding and strengthening CRA would leverage hundreds of billions of dollars in additional credit and capital for America’s small businesses and responsible homeowners. We urge Congress to act to:

  • Expand CRA’s coverage to reflect today’s financial system. CRA has been hampered because it was not updated as the financial industry has changed.

CRA should be applied to:

° Mortgage companies and other non-bank lenders. In recent years, lenders have evaded the law as mortgage lending migrated to non-banks, including brokers, affiliates and independent mortgage companies not subject to CRA. Such a substantial portion of the marketplace should not be exempt from good corporate citizenship under CRA.

° Wall Street investment banks and securities firms. The financial crisis demonstrated the direct impact that Wall Street’s practices had on neighborhoods and communities. These institutions should be examined by federal regulators under CRA for their impact on access to capital and credit in low- and moderate-income areas. Applying CRA to Wall Street would help the country recover from the financial crisis by requiring financial institutions to invest responsibly in the American people and businesses.

° Insurance companies. Under the Dodd-Frank law, insurance companies will now report data to a federal regulator for the first time. This gives policymakers an opportunity to identify and address the problem of insurance redlining and other impediments to accessing insurance. Applying CRA to insurance companies would ensure they are not arbitrarily denying services to low- and moderate-income communities.

° Credit unions. NCRC’s research has shown that the credit union industry lags banks at serving low- and moderate-income communities. Originally chartered to serve people of “small means,” these institutions receive significant tax breaks and should be held accountable for community reinvestment obligations.

  • Close loopholes and gaps in the law. The assessment areas of banks on CRA exams should be fixed so banks’ are measured where they do the majority of their business, not just where they have branches. Banks have also bypassed the law by excluding their affiliates from the exam, shielding risky lending from CRA’s scrutiny; affiliates must be included on the exam.
  • Enhance the performance-based measurement system of CRA. Creditworthy small businesses and consumers are struggling to get loans, and yet 98% of banks receive passing or excellent grades on their CRA exams. Improving CRA’s performance based measures would put an end to grade inflation, double counting and “pro forma” activities.
  • Improve enforcement of the law. The law currently contains limited tools to ensure that problematic practices are addressed. Expanding enforcement mechanisms to include public improvement plans for correcting a poor rating overall or in any local area, limiting the ability of poor performing banks to sell to loans to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), allowing the public to appeal CRA ratings, or pursue a private right of action to correct problems, and creating more rigorous fair lending reviews of financial institutions would improve the performance of the law.
  • Expand transparency and accountability under the law. Requiring regulators to regularly hold public hearings on mergers, giving meaningful weights to CRA tests and putting them on a 1-100 point scale, and collecting data on banks’ branching patterns and deposits in communities would make the grading system more useful to the public as a measure of good corporate citizenship.

For more policy resources on the Community Reinvestment Act, please contact Dion Spencer, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs on 202-464-2722 or Josh Silver, Vice
President for Policy and Research, on 202-464-2708.

Here is a sample letter they ask citizens to send to their representatives, for more background:

Dear Representative:I urge you to enact legislation that puts private capital back to work creating jobs and opportunity! The American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 [HR 6334] would do just that. The bill leverages a private sector commitment to lend, so it is deficit neutral.

The American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 incorporates the following principals:

  • American small businesses and consumers need access to capital, credit and basic banking services to prosper.
  • All financial institutions must have an affirmative obligation to serve the capital and credit needs of low income communities and communities of color in a fair manner.
  • The reckless behavior of financial institutions caused the financial crisis, and the loss of millions of jobs and homes. Financial institutions must help the economy recover, not sit in the sidelines.
  • Additional oversight and transparency will invigorate both the safety and soundness of the financial system, as well as its accountability to communities

Congress must finish financial reform by expanding and strengthening financial institutions’ commitment to small businesses and communities. The Community Reinvestment Act is a model for harnessing the tremendous dynamism of the private sector to promote community development and prosperity.

The financial landscape has changed dramatically since CRA was first introduced in 1977. It needs to be updated to reflect today’s financial system.

We urge you to sign onto and pass H.R. 6334 - American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010.

Sincerely,

[your name inserted here]

Northeast Ohio must help current residents KEEP THEIR HOMES and REBUILD THEIR CREDIT - we must create fair, better channels for lower- and middle-class residents to access credit - including for those whose credit was harmed when the last housing bubble popped - so regular, every-day folk may buy and maintain sustainable housing for themselves, to rebuild ond sustain our region.

Predatory lender greed flooded sickness into a festering multi-year housing bubble in America that resulted in the unsustainable migration of people and mis-deployment of natural resources around America, leaving shallow communities of empty shells - in many cases, entire neighborhoods of stable residents have been wiped out by unethical lending practices, and entire communities are being bulldozed.

If Northeast Ohio wants to maintain - and grow - a sustainable community in the millions - see a Cleveland of over 500,000 people again - then citizens choosing to live here need fair access to loans for housing... at all income levels, in all neighborhoods.

ABOUT NCRC:

Our members include community reinvestment organizations, community development corporations; local and state government agencies; faith-based institutions; community organizing and civil rights groups; minority and women-owned business associations as well as local and social service providers from across the nation.

NCRC pursues its work through a variety of partnerships and programs. Our Housing Counseling Network leverages the expertise of a national network of mortgage finance advisors. They work with servicers and lenders, on behalf of homeowners, to keep working families from losing their homes to foreclosure.

NCRC’s National Training Academy provides training and technical assistance on topics such as understanding how to use the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), fair lending laws, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Homeownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), fair housing and foreclosure prevention. Our Economic Justice Campaign sites pilot innovative community partnerships to enhance the delivery of financial, technical, and social services to individual consumers, homeowners, and small business.

NCRC’s work is enhanced by two financial service advisory councils consisting of the nation’s largest banks and mortgage finance companies. Quarterly roundtables examine issues involving responsible financial service-related policies, regulations and legislation, as well as innovative products, services and best practices.

NCRC represents its members before Congress, federal regulatory agencies and the press. NCRC routinely testifies before the U.S. Congress, and meets with the leadership of banking and lending regulatory agencies. NCRC frequently provides expert commentary on national television, and our research and policy papers have been cited in hundreds of newspapers in the US.



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How about just enforcing CRA?? Xspand?#@$#?!

  EXSPAND CRA???????????????????????????
City of Cleveland has allowed banks to flee our neighborhoods.  Norm--funding of CDCs is part of the Community Reinvestment Act and these have become bloodletting organizations.

  • Close loopholes and gaps in the law. The assessment areas of banks on CRA exams should be fixed so banks’ are measured where they do the majority of their business, not just where they have branches. Banks have also bypassed the law by excluding their affiliates from the exam, shielding risky lending from CRA’s scrutiny; affiliates must be included on the exam.           
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  • For more policy resources on the Community Reinvestment Act, please contact Dion Spencer, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs on 202-464-2722 or Josh Silver, Vice
    President for Policy and Research, on 202-464-2708.

I will call today...I am so sick of how the City of Cleveland has ALLOWED "developers" to commandeer federal monies to clear and prime land for developers by displacing families--primarily African-American families.  We all need to be cautious about how the government labels "poor" or "blighted"--you may be next.

Here's a recent major handout to the "RICH"

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/12/clevelands_flats_east_bank_pro.html

Cleveland's Flats East Bank project gets $32 million loan guarantee from HUD

Published: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 2:45 PM     Updated: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 6:07 PM

I just want to vomit....

 

Fiscal conservatives are RIGHT--The Community Reinvestment Act has been used to camouflage the most deceitful redistribution of wealth in American history.  This is like reliving the the aftermath of the Civil War. The Community Reinvestment Act is a carpetbagger's wet dream come true...using "other people's money" to get "RICH."

I believe you will find our problems here are because of poor

I believe you will find our problems here are because of poor leadership HERE - and poor citizens voting into office and allowing poor leaders here.

And, not enough good new leaders HERE stepping up and challenging the political machine within the corrupt party structure HERE, allowing poor leaders to rule and ruin everything.

I believe that classic line that kept Pipe Fitter McFaul and Sewage Worker Jimmy "Dim" DiMora in office for decades - "I Vote The Party Ticket" - says it all about what ruined NEO.

Other communities certainly make the USA work better for the citizens... we just happen to live in corrupto, mafioso hell.

And because of that, we pollute everyone else.

Blame the worst Democrats in the history of the world and the worst citizens in the world who voted for them, HERE... don't blame CRA in DC.

Tell CRA in DC about problems with CDCs in NEO.

Expand CRA.

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Ask our Treasurer

Northeast Ohio must help current residents KEEP THEIR HOMES and REBUILD THEIR CREDIT - we must create fair, better channels for lower- and middle-class residents to access credit - including for those whose credit was harmed when the last housing bubble popped - so regular, every-day folk may buy and maintain sustainable housing for themselves, to rebuild ond sustain our region.

No joke Norm...Ask Jimmy "Let's Make a Deal" Rokakis why a senior and disabled family next to the subsidized NRP senior housing project he set up on Denison in Brooklyn Centre will be kicked to the curb in 2011??
(I am fairly sure that as a former CDC director Brian Cummins knew of the longstanding plans on Fern Court/Denison/Commercial Corridor/State RT monies--staged in succession by the council reps who controlled his money...Jim Rokakis, who appointed Merle Gordon, who appointed Emily Lipovan)

And, how many other families are being kicked to the curb as I write this???  'Tis the season....ho, ho, ho...

You're welcome, Laura. Now call Washington yourself.

You're welcome, Laura.

Somebody had to go to Washington and figure this mess out. Now you have real people to talk to at the source of the funding about the real problems in Cleveland, instead of talking to the leaders who betray you here. I filled them in as best as I can but residents need to do the rest... that is why I asked for an Executive Summary of the problems residents are having with TWDC in Tremont...

Now call Washington yourself about your problems with your CDCs, and to help Washington set that straight and strengthen and extend CRA - they don't know you have problems here unless you tell them.

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thank you Mr. Dodds

I AM glad that you went to Washington...can you fix our banks, too?  It's a Wonderful Life...Jimmy Stewart. But, I don't hear bells ringing...I am going out in the snow now.

I'm working on everything...

I'm working on everything...

And not all the answers are in DC

None of the answers appear to be in Cleveland...bells are ringing elsewhere, though.

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Smart idea, and so simple -

Smart idea, and so simple - it was right there all the time. The CRA is an already established mechanism of financially empowering the underclass. During the crash, the GOP was trying to blame CRA but the truth (and there are credible studies and data out there to back this up) was CRA loans were the cleanest and most stable.

And don't forget - we dO have some voice and power - MoveYourMOney can provide you with the information you need to close your account with a whore mongering bank, destroying our communities with their greed, and open one with a responsible bank or credit union with a conscious. Its an easily fulfilled responsibility we all have and frankly, I don't think ANYone has the right to bitch if they are banking with one of the monsters.

Third Federal S & L is a local owned institution with an excellent reputation for lending. They survived the crash because they had little to no sub-primes in its portfolio.

We moved to a credit union a few years back and have been happy, happy happy ever since!

Third Federal

  Is as bad as any bank in NEO--I, too, am moving my earnings to a credit union. 

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I wonder if any County Council Members have ever heard of CRA?

I wonder if any of our new Cuyahoga County Council Members have ever heard of CRA? How about the CEO?

I wonder if they know they must contact their higher political authorities - CONGRESS - and let their peer elected officials know the impoverished communities of Cuyahoga County, and the poor citizens here, need the continued flow of investment in underserved communities, and oversight of lending that insures fair bank services and credit availability to low and moderate income citizens, that the CRA exists to ensure (and has).

I wonder if any Cuyahoga County elected officials at any level know?!?!

I wonder if any Cleveland city elected officials at any level know?!?! I wonder have Cleveland City Council Members who spend $440,000 each, per year, of funds resulting from programs like CRA taken a stand on expanding CRA?!?! Have they spoken up to Congress about the importance of CRA in their communities?!?!

I wonder if any area CDC Directors or their staff who exist as a result of programs like CRA have bothered to spread community awareness about CRA and its benefits to citizens, and the need for congress to expand CRA?!?!

I wonder if any leaders in Northeast Ohio have done the right things about CRA?!?!

How about in all of Ohio?!?!

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they're too busy violating their charter

unreal NEO Leadership Videos of the Day 1, 2 & 3

DISTRICT ZERO HAS NO VOTE

TELL US WHAT THE PROCESS IS AND WE'LL FOLLOW IT.

SHOW US THE WAY - ORGANIZE THIS COUNCIL - FIND SOMEBODY WHOSE GOT THAT MUCH CLOUT

I BELIEVE BY VOTING TO ESSENTIALLY START OVER... (AGAIN)

OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DEPENDING ON THIS TO SAVE US!!!

GOD HELP REAL NEO!

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WE THE PEOPLE NEED A PHOTO of ALL NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS

Is there a photo of all the County Council Members and the County Executive together yet??? Have they all united at least once yet? Extraordinary.

None of these folks want to work under our microscope!

Humorous to think that they can still get over on our complacent, intimidated, and ill informed citizens... who are too disengaged to pay attention to these matters of great significance and hold them accountable. Hope the public keeps forcing them to LEARN NEW WAYS OF BEING PUBLIC SERVANTS WITHOUT BEING CORRUPT! 

most excellent post, Norm

I am only 1/3 of the way through what you have posted (I stop to check out the links). This goes hand in hand with the deregulation of banks over the years.  Make sure that this piece gets out; it is a cohesive work that lays it out clearly. 

A copy and paste from this is: "TODAY, they need the help of the CITIZENS OF NORTHEAST OHIO and the entire community development world to contact CONGRESS - IN THIS LAME DUCK PRE HOLIDAY SESSION - and tell our representatives to PASS HR 6334, the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010, introduced in the House on September 29 to EXPAND THE COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT!"

If someone does not know the name of their representative, this can help: www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd

 

 

At 400+ reads the first day... add RSS and other ditribution

At 400+ reads the first day... add RSS and other ditribution... it's out there being read by plenty of people... and plenty of the right people.

Add to the voice for expanding CRA - it is easy - send a link to this post or the Expand CRA website and get the right people to learn about CRA and call and contact their representatives - get the politicians to see through all the BS and speak up in support of expanding CRA. Get your mayor, councilpeople, CDCs and other official representatives of YOUR COMMUNITY to speak up for expanding CRA to expand fair access to financial services and benefits to all underserved communities in America.

Most of your community leaders won't even know what CRA is, so we the people must educate them.

This is my contribution to that.

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Yes...call Kucinich...and hopefully Laurie Rokakis intercepts!

....or call Sherrod Brown who's collocated with Plymouth Park Tax Services like Stephanie Tubbs Jones old assistant prosecutor William J. Day- worked for GLS Capital Cuyahoga... Comedy...comedy...comedy...

 

 

Congressmen come and go (at least THEY SHOULD GO)...

About those concerns, I would call NCRC Directly - call Washington DC directly - there are some names with contact info in my original posting above...

Congressmen come and go (at least THEY SHOULD GO)... but investment in our communities must continue forever.

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The reporter doesn't connect Afford-A-Home Failure to CRA

The reporter doesn't connect Afford-A-Home Failure to CRA... he connects our economic failure to Clevelanders electing an incompetent mayor, and incompetent councilpeople, who hire corrupt and incompetent staff, who altogether screw up local government and harm citizens, wasting valuable economic assistance from the Federal government... pathetic ongoing saga here, that doesn't seem to change no matter who is in the White House, or in city hall or city council for that matter.

And County government... that has gone from madhouse to complete circus...

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County governments have certainly wasted $ billions of federal dollars - again, none of this is related directly to anything about CRA, other than CRA may help this region and citizens here access services, loans and credit from banks in the communities they serve.

I encourage you to contact CRA in DC and ask them about these issues in Cleveland.

My advice to the Federal government is to stop sending any Federal assistance to the corrupt leadership here... but then millions in Ohio would starve worse than they do today, so it is unlikely Obama or the Republicans will do that entirely.

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INVESTIGATE COLLUSION....

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Totally Agreed...!

:) 

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Campaign Call To Action

                 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Campaign
                      Statement of Principles/Call to Action!
 
This campaign will expand access to capital, credit and basic banking services for
America’s low‐ and moderate‐income people and communities of color. The
undersigned organizations will work together to advance the responsible provision
of capital, banking services, credit and will repair the damage caused by the
proliferation of irresponsible and abusive loans and lending services. 
 
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) ensures that government, corporations
and civic interests work in concert to promote community development and
prosperity. But CRA has been weakened by a feeble regulatory apparatus with little
or no desire to enforce the law. Unfortunately, financial reform kept CRA
enforcement with the agencies that failed to enforce it. 
 
America faces widening wealth disparities. When strengthened, CRA holds the
greatest potential for helping low and moderate‐income communities and
communities of color build wealth. The economies of poor neighborhoods will not
improve until we require the financial industry to focus on the needs of these
communities.                                                                                                                                                                    

CRA is a deficit neutral way to expand access to safe and sound loans for
creditworthy small businesses and consumers. Expanding and strengthening CRA
will promote job creation, affordable housing and create vibrant and prosperous
cities, towns and rural areas. The following principles should guide the effort to
update the law:

  • American small businesses and consumers need access to capital, credit and basic banking services to prosper.
  • All financial institutions must have an affirmative obligation to serve the capital and credit needs of low income communities and communities of color in a fair manner. 
  • The reckless behavior of financial institutions caused the financial crisis, and the loss of millions of jobs and homes. Financial institutions must help the economy recover, not sit on the sidelines. 
  • Additional oversight and transparency will invigorate both the safety and soundness of the financial system, as well as its accountability to communities.

 
We will work together to support these principles and accomplish reform,
coordinating our strategies and sharing resources. We will educate and engage the
American public, elected officials, and others in support of our efforts.
 
Participating Coalition List:
Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
Birmingham Business Research Center
Consumer Counseling Northwest
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers Union
CRC
Dayton Civic Scholars/ Fitz Center for Leadership in Community
Delaware Community Action Council
Enterprise
Escambia City Housing
Fair Finance Watch
Greater Boston Legal Services
Greenlining
Housing Assistance Council
Housing Education and Economic Development
Irvin M. Henderson and Company
Leadership Conference
LEED Council
LISC
Low Income Investment Fund
Media Matters
Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing
Michigan CRA Coalition
National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations
National Black Church Initiative
National Council of La Raza
National Fair Housing Alliance
National League of Cities
National People's Action ( NPA) 
Nevada Fair Housing Center
North Carolina Branch of NAACP
Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance
Opportunity Finance Network
Pathstone
PIRG
Rainbow Push
Responsible Endowments Coalition
River Cities Development Services
Rural Housing Inc
Sunnyside‐Up Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corps
The Victoria Foundation
Urban League
US Action
US Conference of Mayors
Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation
Woodstock 
 

Disrupt IT

you need

to go driving around the country more often, Norm.

nice post.

Wait until I get my notes together on the Hemp Industry

Wait until I get my notes together on the Hemp Industry - absolutely fascinating and seriously in play

Disrupt IT

CRA: Lending Issues in NEO

1) Home Loans: 

By 2005 it hit a point in NEO that a MAJORITY of the lenders had completely STOPPED LENDING AMOUNTS UNDER $50,000.00 for home purchases. The average City of Cleveland Home is worth far less than $50,000.00 in the City predominantly because of demographics at all levels including negative statistics about schools, police, crime, and high insurance rates. However, due to the fraudulently implemented INFLATED VALUATIONS OF PROPERTIES ACROSS NEO DURING THAT PERIOD AT ALL LEVELS FROM THE COUNTY AUDITORS TO REGULAR BANKS....IT EMPOWERED THE LENDING BUSINESS TO PREVENT ANYONE FROM BUYING A HOME UNDER $50,000 B/C the points, costs and fees associated with making the loan didn't give them a high enough yield on their ROI as lenders. (ROI=Return On Investment). Hence, you ended up with $5,000 properties being sold for minimums of $50,000 and getting away with such frauds on our community at large....AND SO THE FORECLOSURE NIGHTMARE GOES! 

2) INSURANCE REDLINING: CLEVELAND OHIO ZIP CODES ARE REDLINED. In other words, if you live within the city limits, your insurance rates escalate higher and higher...every zip except 44144 which is colocated with BROOKLYN.

3) PROPERTY TAX LAWS: Have been lobbied by the actual companies that ended up getting the third party right to buy those tax certificates and the laws were not implemented to protect the 14th Amendment rights of our citizens under the Consititution of the USA.

4)COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT/PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: this entire area is GRAY MATTER IN CLEVELAND OHIO. The average CDC has less than 1% of the actual community demographics involved in it's planning, implementation, and membership to ascertain millions in HUD Dollars for inept programs that are abusive to the low income, aged, and disabled citizens' needs. It has become a huge back door for govt funding to pay to play politics in Northeast Ohio and is only good for those willing to play the game in the closeted underground of NEO. The little people who refuse gentrification are snubbed, condemned, and code enforced to death with no alternative respite available when they are in this nightmare. They have been here like 35 years and we've lost over a half million people... They are STEERING OUR PEOPLE OUT  OF TOWN INTENTIONALLY WITH PLANS TO BUILD BIG PARKS BY DEMOing our properties... for their own self interested goals of development that avoids the public participation rules of engagement in direct violation of our rights. Yet, there are lots of steering committees and backroom deliberations/deals.  

5) Community reinvestment: GIVE THE TAX BREAKS TO THE ENTREPRENUERS...BIG TAX INCENTIVES TO SMALL SELF EMPLOYED AND CORPORATIONS UNDER 20 EMPLOYEES... THOSE ARE THE FOLKS WHO GET OUT HERE IN THE COMMUNITY AND DO WORK LIKE REAL ESTATE INVESTORS WHO BUY, REHAB, RENT, AND RETAIL PROPERTIES TO THE PUBLIC. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO PROVIDE JOBS TO THE DEMOGRAPHICALLY DISADVANTAGED POPULACE SUCH AS FORMERLY ENCARCERATED PERSONS. MOREOVER, EMPOWER THE FAMILY UNIT BY ADVOCATING AND SUPPORTING FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS START UPS! THOSE FAMILIES PULL TOGETHER TO BUILD COMMUNITY ROOTS AND THAT'S SIGNIFICANT. 

6) Quit making it all a bureacracy of agencies for TRICKLE DOWN FUNDING and GRANTS to the people... Give people their tax refunds and offer them double for investing into a company within the city. Stop giving the funds to not for profits that are abusing their positions in our community! STOP FUNDING THE CITY OF CLEVELAND DIRECTLY!!!! They have totally abused their positions at all levels. Make it a county function and allow our new govt to trickle down the funds in a regional manner. OR GIVE IT BACK TO THE CITIZENS AT THE LOW INCOME LEVELS with INCENTIVES TO BECOME ENTREPRENUERS!