Community Reinvestment Act of 1977

photograph of

President Carter signing the Community Reinvestment Act on Oct. 12, 1977. (Jimmy Carter Library/National Archives and Records Administration)

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), title VIII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low-and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA was passed in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining.