SLEHCRA Releases Latest Report to the Community
The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) works to increase investment in low- and moderate-income communities (LMI), regardless of race, and in minority communities, regardless of income. We do this by ensuring that banks are meeting their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws. SLEHCRA’s Report to the Community is an annual update on changes to the St. Louis region’s financial services offerings and community development investment.
In 2018, SLEHCRA engaged in policy advocacy in the St. Louis metro area as well as across the country on various issues related to fair lending and the Community Reinvestment Act. One of the major issues was the #TreasureCRA campaign. This focused on bringing national awareness to the importance of CRA in the wake of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) inviting public comment letters on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that would weaken instead of strengthen CRA. The campaign involved social media awareness using the hashtag #TreasureCRA, passing local CRA Resolutions, as well as submitting public comment letters.
Nearly all banks engaged in some kind of financial education outreach. This included partnering with community groups or participating in relevant programs to provide funding for financial education. Or, banks often provide employees to teach financial education classes. Banks detailed efforts like partnering with local school districts, funding Money Smart Month efforts, and holding various financial education classes and lunch & learns.
Home Loan Products
Of the banks responding to the survey, 16 (70%) reported offering an affordable home purchase loan product targeted to the LMI community, nine of which offered a portfolio loan. Some features of the various products include: Lower down payments Lower credit score requirements, including alternative credit considerations Assistance with down payment or closing costs Homebuyer and credit building classes