Leading Civil Rights, Housing Policy, and Consumer Advocates Urge the Senate to Thoroughly Vet Banking Nominees for a Demonstrated Commitment to Fair Lending and Racial Equity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2021

Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org

Leading Civil Rights, Housing Policy, and Consumer Advocates Urge the Senate to Thoroughly Vet Banking Nominees for a Demonstrated Commitment to Fair Lending and Racial Equity

Washington, D.C. — Leading civil rights, housing policy, and consumer advocates have submitted a letter urging the Senate to carefully review the records of nominees to powerful positions at the Federal Reserve Board (Board) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to ensure they have a strong and demonstrated commitment to fair lending, fair housing, and racial equity.

The nomination process is particularly important given the extremely concerning report from the Board’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) that disclosed that the Board has engaged in an appalling abdication of its responsibility to protect borrowers and communities of color through the appropriate identification of redlining risk and violations. The letter makes clear that the nominees must commit to making fair lending a top priority and must have the knowledge and experience to direct their agencies’ fair lending oversight and enforcement efforts effectively.

 “We are particularly concerned about enforcement of the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws, given the persistent Black/White homeownership and wealth gaps, which has implications for fairness, equity, and the economy as a whole,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). In a recent TV interview, Ms. Rice also noted: “We have a bevy of fair lending laws. The problem is they haven’t been effectively enforced…. We need all federal agencies, including the prudential regulators – that’s the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – …to work hand in glove with the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] and the [U.S. Department of Justice] to tackle redlining practices.”

Click here to read the joint advocate letter to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Click here to read a letter from NFHA to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which includes detailed questions for the nominees.

The advocate letter was issued jointly by the following organizations:

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • UnidosUS
  • National CAPACD
  • National Urban League
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • NALCAB
  • Consumer Federation of America
  • Prosperity Now
  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • California Reinvestment Coalition
  • Massachusetts Communities Action Network

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The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 200 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.

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