Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see “More Information” at the end of each article.

 

Postings

Stronger CRA rules still needed to ensure equal access to credit
With a new proposal imminent from federal bank regulators, community, civil rights and consumer advocacy groups stress the urgency of updating the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA is a civil rights era law meant to end and reverse the impact of 20th century redlining by requiring banks to lend in all communities where they are chartered to do business. Critical changes to both the process and metrics of CRA exams that evaluate lender performance, as well as updates to how digital banks are assessed, are needed to ensure that communities of color have equal access to credit to buy homes or build and grow businesses.

Congress needs to prioritize affordable housing in future budget reconciliation bills
In a letter addressed to members of Democratic leadership, Consumer Action joined advocates in emphasizing the beneficial impact fair and affordable housing and homeownership have on the economy and on the financial health of those in vulnerable communities. Advocates urged Congress to support full funding that supports the production of and opportunity for affordable housing in every state as part of any future budget reconciliation bill.

As the pandemic continues, the Build Back Better Act aims to provide critical assistance to American families
Consumer Action joined over 200 national, state and community organizations in thanking the House of Representatives for the momentous gains made in the Build Back Better Act, reinforcing the need to keep the package intact as it makes its way through the Senate, and urging swift passage onto signature by President Biden. By passing the historic Build Back Better bill, Congress is tackling some of the most important problems families face, by accomplishing things such as cutting taxes for working and middle class families, supporting child and elder care, making college more affordable, providing job training, and making the largest investment in battling climate change in our nation’s history.

Advocates ask the CFPB to bring back public consumer complaint narratives
Dozens of consumer, civil rights, community, housing and privacy groups urged the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Rohit Chopra, to stop burying the complaint details (called narratives) in the agency’s consumer complaint database. Under its Trump-appointed director, Kathy Kraninger, the CFPB made it more difficult for consumers to access the most useful portion of the complaints. Burying the complaint narratives was one of many big gifts Kraninger gave to financial firms that long fought public display of the consumer-provided descriptions that reveal the unfair practices companies would rather keep hidden.

The FHFA has a new goal in promoting equity in homeownership
Long-standing discriminatory policies and practices in the credit and housing markets have resulted in significant racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership and the accumulation of wealth. Coalition advocates submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on policies that promote equity and expand opportunity for low-income borrowers. The FHFA should require Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to remove barriers and advance equity in housing markets to better serve the needs of all consumers, especially those in underserved populations.

Biden’s Build Back Better Act to include historic expansion of funds to address homeownership gap for people of color
A broad group of consumer, housing and financial services advocates wrote the U.S. Senate to express support for the homeownership components in President Biden’s infrastructure bill, including first-generation downpayment assistance, support for Fair Housing enforcement, and investment in the Housing Investment Fund. Advocates noted that Biden’s Build Back Better Act funds important resources needed to address the decline of affordability and accessibility of homeownership in underserved communities. The housing market needs substantial investment to help increase the supply of affordable housing, improve access to homeownership, and address the troubling homeownership gap for Black and Brown people.

HUD to tackle systemic racism and housing discrimination
Advocates joined together to support the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) decision to reinstate its Discriminatory Effects Standard, which ensures that housing practices that appear neutral in their design do not create or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion and other characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act. During the Trump administration, HUD gutted this critical civil rights protection and made it nearly impossible to seek redress for fair housing violations that had discriminatory effects. HUD’s announcement today ensures that strong protections against discriminatory housing practices are clear and remain the law of the land.

Grant FHA-backed borrowers the full forbearance relief they are legally entitled to
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), coalition advocates urged HUD to give Federal Housing Administration-backed borrowers who start forbearance plans after July 1, 2021, access to a full 12 months of forbearance, in line with policies from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). In doing so, HUD would rightfully recognize the continued economic turmoil from the global pandemic. HUD’s current decision unnecessarily limits forbearance for borrowers accessing plans after June 30, 2021, to only six months of relief instead of the standard 12 months pursuant to the CARES Act.

Climate change threatens vulnerable residents’ housing opportunities
Groups write to the Federal Housing Finance Agency with concerns that climate risk mitigation efforts could cause inadvertent harm to communities already vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The FTC and CFPB must do more to prevent mass homelessness during the pandemic
Over 11 million families are at risk of losing housing. Protection from evictions and foreclosures is greatly needed due to the ongoing economic crisis accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic, including the loss of household income in the near and long term. Consumer Action joined advocates in urging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to work together to prohibit unfair debt collections and ensure financial and regulatory agencies confirm industry standards regarding forbearance availability for homeowners. Without these additional protections, many will lose their homes and be forced to move at a time when COVID-19 levels are still extremely high and vaccination access for many is still months away. As a result, the financial impact of COVID would result in substantially greater risk of spreading illness.

Quick Menu

Support Consumer Action

Support Consumer

Join Our Email List

Optional Member Code
Facebook FTwitter T

Housing Menu

Help Desk

Advocacy