Woodstock Institute, Housing Action Illinois, and 55 other organizations wrote to Gov. Pritzker asking him to support S. 1608, the Black Caucus’ bill to create an Illinois Community Reinvestment Act modeled on the federal anti-redlining law that was pioneered in Chicago.

Download the letter

On January 13, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation creating an Illinois Community Reinvestment Act (IL CRA) to help ensure that state regulated financial institutions better meet the needs of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, including areas where there is a lack of access to banking and lending services. 

Here’s an excerpt from today’s letter to the governor asking him to sign the bill:

Creating the Illinois CRA will support the banking, credit, and other financial service needs of low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities throughout Illinois and, if robustly implemented, can have a significant positive impact on the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ efforts to promote economic access, equity, and opportunity to stop systemic racism.

As you know, areas with a Black majority population generally suffer from a lack of access to banking and lending capital, crucial ingredients to create healthy markets where locally-owned businesses and housing markets can thrive.

An example of systemic racism that IL CRA can help remedy is unequal access to affordable mortgage loans based on race. A recently published academic study, which analyzed loans originated by independent mortgage brokers across various markets throughout the nation, found that minorities pay between 3% and 5% more in fees than similarly qualified whites when obtaining a loan through the same white broker.

Locally, a June 2020 report from WBEZ and City Bureau revealed wide racial disparities in mortgage lending between Chicago’s white communities and the city’s Black and Latino neighborhoods. Calling it modern-day redlining, the analysis found that in Chicago, lenders have invested more in a single white neighborhood than all the black neighborhoods combined.

The list of signers includes:

  • A Safe Haven Foundation
  • Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County
  • Arise Chicago
  • Breakthrough
  • Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
  • Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance
  • Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Chicago Community Loan Fund
  • Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group
  • Chicago Rehab Network
  • Chicago Urban League
  • Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County
  • Communities United
  • Connections for the Homeless
  • Democratize ComEd campaign
  • Disability Resource Center
  • East Bluff Community Center
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Garfield Park Community Council
  • Hana Center
  • Harold Washington Unit 1987
  • Housing Action Illinois
  • Housing Choice Partners
  • Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)
  • Illinois Asset Building Group
  • Illinois People’s Action
  • Illinois-Iowa Center for Independent Living
  • Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
  • JP Credit Education & Consulting LLC
  • La Casa Norte
  • Latino Policy Forum
  • Lawndale Christian Development Corporation
  • Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Moran Center for Youth Advocacy
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
  • Northside Community Development Corporation
  • Oak Park Regional Housing Center
  • Peoria Housing Authority
  • Phoenix Community Development Services
  • Preservation of Affordable Housing
  • Progress Center for Independent Living
  • ReBirth of Greater Roseland
  • Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity
  • Rule of Law Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Small Business Majority
  • South Suburban Housing Center
  • South Suburban PADS
  • Springfield Housing Authority
  • The Resurrection Project
  • Universal Housing Solutions CDC
  • Vennmedia-A Nonprofit Media Enterprise
  • Woodstock Institute
  • Working Credit NFP