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The Community Reinvestment Bill

The Ministry of Housing has rejected continuing speculation that the Community Reinvestment Bill would be withdrawn. The Bill seeks to compel banks to make loans to low-income homebuyers and, also, establishes targets for the number of loans to be so provided. It, in addition, prohibits the practice of ‘red-lining’ where financial institutions decline to make loan advances in areas that they have identified as being too risky for lending.

While it was conceded that there might well be some changes to the Bill before it was finally promulgated, it was pointed out that the nature of any such amendments would be dependent upon the outcome of current negotiations on the drafting of a financial sector charter, since it was essential that the provisions of the Bill should coincide with that charter. It is likely that the Bill will first be placed before Cabinet for approval and then to parliament for enactment by the end of 2003.

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