The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate. The CRA’s “sister” legislation, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), is intended to provide the public with mortgage lending data to help determine if financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities. Empire Justice provides analysis of any changes to these laws or their regulations, and provides research and analysis pertaining to CRA and HMDA data, including commenting on bank CRA exams.
Policy Matters – September 2022
September 30, 2022
Welcome to the September edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover our annual testimony on the importance of civil legal services, a final push for new tenant protections, our work to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act, advocacy for limited English proficiency SNAP recipients, recommendations for uniform standards of eligibility in family courts, a collection of recent legal education efforts, recognition of excellence in advocacy for several staff members, and last but not least – an invitation to our next Celebration of Leadership event in Albany!
PRESS RELEASE: $2 million in Federal and State Tax Returns claimed by Rochester residents through the CASH program
February 16, 2022
Since opening on January 24th, families in the Rochester community have claimed over $2 million in Federal and State Tax Refunds through the CASH program. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CASH will be accommodating clients by appointment only. Visit the website at https://empirejustice.org/cash/ for more information on available services.
COVID-19 Disparities In Rochester, NY: The Legacy Of Redlining In The City Of Frederick Douglass And Susan B. Anthony
October 02, 2020
On the heels of a new national report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition regarding the impact of redlining on today's community health, this post highlights the ways in which Rochester's historical redlining is inextricably and demonstrably linked with unjust housing, health, education and employment outcomes for Black and Brown Rochesterians today.
Ruhi Maker is a senior staff attorney with the Consumer, Finance and Housing Unit in Empire Justice Center's Rochester office. Ms. Maker has been a public interest attorney for over 35 years.
Since 1989, she has worked on affordable housing issues and community reinvestment issues in Rochester New York. Ms. Maker co-convened the Community Development Block Grant Coalition to improve targeting of CDBG funds to low and moderate income households in Rochester New York. Ms. Maker co-convened the Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition (GRCRC) in 1993. Since then, the Coalition or its convener, Empire Justice Center, has released over twenty analyses of home mortgage, foreclosure, small business and subprime lending data. GRCRC has submitted dozens of CRA exam and merger comments, based on the data, to the appropriate State and Federal regulators who have oversight of the banks.
Ms. Maker served on the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council from 2002-2004. In 2016, Ms. Maker was appointed to a three year term on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Advisory Board.
A native of Pakistan, she received her law degree from the London School of Economics. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1986.
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