Otting attends Baltimore event for potential homebuyers, alludes to CRA ‘modernization’

The types of potential-homebuyer support on display Monday at a nonprofit event in Baltimore “is an example of what we envision” when discussing Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) modernization, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting was quoted saying in an agency release issued Wednesday.

The agency said that Otting, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), on Monday visited an “Achieve the Dream” event hosted by the non-profit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). The OCC said the event was part of a series that NACA hosts around the country that provides counseling to potential homebuyers, helps them prepare for homeownership, and works to qualify them with an affordable mortgage.

“Knowledge is power. The education provided to these potential homebuyers through programs like these can unlock the door to achieving what is the American dream for many,” Otting said, according to the release. “The sort of community service and support provided through these programs is an example of what we envision when we talk about encouraging more investment, lending, and services through modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act.”

The agency said that Otting and staff at the event talked with more than a dozen recent homebuyers who achieved homeownership through the NACA program. The agency said the homeowners shared their personal stories and how they overcame the many barriers that underserved and low- and moderate-income individuals face when considering purchasing a house, such as “high savings requirements, unaffordable terms, restrictive underwriting, and bias.”

Monday’s was the second recent field event where Otting has reminded of work underway to revise the anti-redlining CRA rules. The OCC was alone in issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) last summer. A proposed rule, likely to include also the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve, is widely anticipated.

RR: Otting offers insights on goals for a ‘modern CRA framework’ following Atlanta visit (Aug. 12, 2019)