Call for Papers: The Community Reinvestment Act at 40

Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research

Passed in 1977 in response to concerns over redlining, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requires that federally insured banks and thrifts meet the credit needs of the communities that they serve, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. To comply with CRA, banks must demonstrate that they have made loans, investments, and grants to low-income households and neighborhoods.  CRA directs an estimated $125 billion dollars in private loans, investments, and grants to low- and moderate-income borrowers and communities each year, in areas as diverse as affordable housing, financial counseling, commercial corridor revitalization, transit oriented development, education, and public health.  As a result, CRA has had a profound influence on housing and urban revitalization initiatives. But CRA has been controversial since its very beginnings, and the record of its impact is mixed.

In recognition of CRA’s 40th Anniversary, I am editing a special symposium in Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research on topics related to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).  The goal of the symposium is to assess the impact of CRA on low- and moderate-income households and communities, to reveal the ways in which a wide range of stakeholders—banks, community groups, CDFIs—contribute to CRA implementation, and to serve as a forum for discussion about how CRA needs to change to be more effective at addressing today’s community development challenges.  Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  • The changing financial services needs of low- and moderate-income communities
  • Banking in the wake of the financial crisis
  • The impact of CRA on lending and investment patterns as well as neighborhood change, including gentrification
  • Access to credit for small businesses
  • The role of community organizing in CRA
  • CRA and access to mortgage credit, including subprime loans
  • The future of CRA

Researchers interested in submitting a paper for consideration in the symposium should email me at with a short abstract or proposal.  First drafts of papers will be due November 1, 2016.  The symposium welcomes empirical, theoretical, or practice-oriented contributions. Submission by early career scholars and practitioners are encouraged.  

Cityscape is published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) three times a year. See here for more information and past issues.

For any questions regarding this special symposium, please email me at