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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 2 | Commentary: Encouraging Housing Equity


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The CRA Turns 40

Volume 19, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Commentary: Encouraging Housing Equity

Dan Immergluck
Georgia State University

On the 40th anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), it is worth thinking about how federal regulations have worked to address inequities in housing markets. The civil rights movement launched a period of activism and optimism for government intervention into housing discrimination, leading to the passage of The Fair Housing Act (FaHA) of 1968 and the 1977 CRA. FaHA and CRA share some common traits; they are both federal regulatory tools that rely on a notion of minimum obligation and encourage innovations that promote greater access by lowerincome and protected-class households to housing and economic opportunities. In addition, both statutes employ sanctions to motivate regulated entities toward nondiscriminatory behavior and help establish standards for what is considered responsible behavior in housing markets.

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