April 26, 2021

NAFCU opposes new housing bill's CU burdens

A group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have reintroduced a proposal for comprehensive housing reform, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2021. While the package would allow some credit unions to add underserved areas to their fields of membership, it would also subject them, and community chartered credit unions, to new statutory requirements.

"NAFCU appreciates policy changes that would allow credit unions to proactively serve our nation’s underserved communities,” said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. “However, adding reporting requirements and putting into statute that a credit union's charter can be revoked for failing to hit arbitrary benchmarks is completely counter to good public policy.

"The answer to serving the underserved is simply allowing the credit union model to thrive, not creating new burdens," Hunt added.

The bill introduced last week is similar to legislation offered by Warren in 2019. In order to help credit unions understand how that proposal would have impacted credit unions, NAFCU developed a full analysis of that bill.

While the legislation would not subject credit unions to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations – as an earlier Warren proposal once sought – the bill would put in statute new regulatory burdens via a form of “CRA-lite” for some community-chartered credit unions and credit unions that seek to add underserved areas. NAFCU opposed putting these new statutory burdens on credit unions when they were first proposed and continues to do so. 

NAFCU will continue to review the newly introduced legislation and share credit unions' concerns with Warren and other lawmakers.