June 21 Brown Bag Forum: The Role of Communities in Community Benefit Agreements
Speakers: Barbara Anderson (left), Michael Cosgrove (middle), and Frank Ford, esq. (right). Phil Star, esq. and Justin Fleming, esq. (not pictured)
The Role of the Community in Community Benefit Agreements Moderator: Phil Star, Esq., Chair, Cuyahoga County Affordable Housing Alliance Community Benefit Agreements with three banks offer the potential of billions of dollars in new funds for revitalizing and stabilizing neighborhoods. Greater Cleveland will share in $62 billion pledged to benefit the national footprints of Key Bank, Huntington Bank and Fifth Third Bank. Community Benefits Agreements: In 2016 the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), working with community activists across a multi-state area, negotiated and secured historic Community Benefits Agreements with Key Bank, Huntington Bank and Fifth Third Bank. In total, the Benefit Agreements will direct $62 billion over five years-- -to include new lending products, new investments and increased philanthropic dollars-- to underserved populations across the footprints of the three banks. Cleveland area housing and nonprofit organizations have been meeting for fifteen months. A Greater Cleveland Reinvestment Coalition (GCRC) has been formed to work with bank officials on implementation of the Agreements and tracking of progress. GCRC will submit proposals to the three banks over the summer. Background: Two American statutes, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) passed in 1975, and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) passed in 1977, were important national pieces of legislation that were to be antidotes to systemic problems of redlining. HMDA obligated banks to publish data on the number of loans being made in neighborhoods. The CRA provided a lever for bank regulators, community groups and cities to pressure banks to make new investments in low and moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color. These two statutes formed the basis for NCRC’s negotiations with Key Bank, Huntington and Fifth Third. FORUM: The June 21 forum provided an overview of the national bank agreements, information on GCRC, and an outline of GCRC’s implementation proposal. Speakers: Frank Ford, Senior Policy Advisor with Western Reserve Land Conservancy; Barbara Anderson, Convener, Greater Cleveland Reinvestment Coalition; Justin Fleming, esq., Director of Real Estate Services, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress; Michael Cosgrove, Director of Community Development, City of Cleveland.
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