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Partners for Rural Transformation strengthens local economies — generating local wealth that sticks — and builds power among those living in some of the most disinvested parts of the country. By drawing on our collective voice and shared experiences, we’re working toward a reimagined future for rural America and the people who call it home.

Our partnership is led by a steering committee made up of six Community Development Financial Institutions that serve three-quarters of the country’s persistent poverty counties. With headquarters in the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, Native American communities, the Deep South, the Rio Grande Valley and regions in the Rural West, our steering committee has a unique lens on the range of challenges these communities face and deep connections with diverse local leaders who are dedicated to creating change.

Community Reinvestment Act
Under Threat!

Passed and signed into law in response to “redlining” over 40 years ago, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been a critical tool for ensuring some level of accountability for lending, investments and financial service access in low- and moderate-income communities by banks. When working well, CRA facilitates successful partnerships with CDFIs to invest in low- and moderate-income communities. Unfortunately, sweeping reforms proposed by the federal banking regulators who oversee CRA threaten to reduce the flow of CRA resources in economically distressed rural communities in the following ways:

  • Incentivizing larger, easier investments, by changing the way CRA investments are measured; and
  • Allowing banks to pass over communities by modifying the manner in which CRA activity is assessed by geography.

Partners for Rural Transformation believes that CRA reform must increase access to capital and credit for poor, rural communities — not motivate further disinvestment. Read our full comments here

We encourage allies in this work to submit public comments as well. Public comments to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding their proposal are due on April 8, 2020.

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