SLEHCRA Receives National Community Reinvestment Award!

March 27, 2015 – The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance is proud to announce that we will receive the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s National Community Reinvestment Award.   The National Community Reinvestment Award recognizes an individual or organization who, through their work, has best exemplified the ideals and values of the community reinvestment movement and economic justice.  This award comes after many years of financial justice work, culminating in 2014’s agreement with Midland States Bank.  This agreement impacts communities from St. Louis to suburban Chicago, with major investments in St. Louis and Joliet, IL.

“As a region, we have been struggling with the negative repercussions of systemic racism and the lack of opportunities available to so many St. Louisans,” said Chaplain Will Jordan, Executive Director of Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council.  “We are thrilled to be recognized for our work impacting financial access for our region’s low-to-moderate income families and communities of color.”

Since 2009, SLEHCRA’s financial justice advocacy has resulted in:

  • Four new bank branches opened in low or moderate income areas, including Pagedale, Olivette, Ferguson, and the Grove neighborhood, with an additional two new branches scheduled to open in the future.
  • Over $30 million committed by banks for community development activities, with six formal agreements signed.
  • New banking products created and brought to market, focused on low to moderate income consumers including new checking accounts and loan products.
  • Over $550,000 committed to financial education partnerships with local non-profits.
  • Increased diversity of bank employees and board of directors, including creation of at least 16 new CRA and Community Development positions created at banks focused on serving the needs of the community.

“Our coalition looks forward to helping make the St. Louis region a model community, for lending to low-to-moderate income families and communities of color,” added Jackie Hutchinson, President of Consumers Council of Missouri.  “Ensuring that these individuals and families have access to affordable credit and banking products will help unlock the potential of these communities.”

“It’s also important to remember that we are bringing new customers to these financial institutions, and that is going to make these banks money.  It really is a “win-win” for consumers, lenders, and our whole region,” said Rob Boyle, CEO of Justine PETERSEN.

Other members of SLEHCRA include Beloved Streets of America, The Coalition of Concerned Citizens(Alton Area), The Center for the Acceleration of African American Business, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, Lemay Housing Partnership, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, MoKan, NAACP St. Louis, North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice, and Ready, Aim, Advocate! Committee.

About The National Community Reinvestment Coalition

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) was formed in 1990 by national, regional, and local organizations to develop and harness the collective energies of community reinvestment organizations from across the country so as to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. NCRC has grown to 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.