N.Y. Banks Help Develop CRA Guidebook
Community development groups will soon have a handy new financing aid - a guidebook on how to obtain credit, filled with suggestions from the lenders themselves.
Nine New York banks are helping pay for the guidebook, and supplying case studies, in hopes of getting community organizations to present more precise proposals for credit.
The handbook will take readers through the loan-application process, give case studies on bank loans, and describe regulatory issues such as the Community Reinvestment Act.
A Way of Reaching Out
Scheduled for distribution this fall, the guidebook targets nonprofit organizations that develop housing for people with low and moderate incomes. The banks are still deciding how to publish and hand out the book.
"It's informational, it's educational, and it's a way for the banks to reach out to the groups," said Ellen Nathanson, manager of the community reinvestment department at Dime Savings Bank of New York.
The idea grew out of a study two years ago by Frank DeGiovanni, an associate professor at the New School for Social Research, New York. Research, he said, showed "a communication gap between lenders and nonprofit organizations." He is putting the book together.
As a result of the research, the nine financial institutions started meeting among themselves and with community groups. All are members of the Fund for the City of New York, a foundation that addresses social and economic issues of low-income and moderate-income New Yorkers. The foundation channeled money for the guidebook from the banks to the New School.
Along with Dime, the participating financial institutions are Citicorp, Bankers Trust New York Corp., Chemical Banking Corp., Manufacturers Hanover Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., Republic New York Corp., National Westminster Bancorp, and J.P. Morgan & Co.