Housing Oregon worked closely with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition this fall to advocate for separate community benefits agreements with Key Bank and US Bank. NCRC is negotiating a follow up agreement to Key Bank’s historic $16.5 billion CBA reached in 2017. Twenty-eight Northwest community leaders met with Key Bank CEO Chris Gorman on October 22 to discuss their recent commitment of $40 billion.

A second meeting took place on November 1st between twenty-six community leaders and US Bank CEO Andrew Cecere to advocate for a community benefits agreement as a result of their proposed merger with Union Bank.

Key Bank highlights

Brian Hoop, Executive Director of Housing Oregon, asked Key Bank for improved transparency in order to track where they are lending and to who, and how effectively. In addition, we asked them to expand community development lending for home ownership and for affordable housing in the Pacific Northwest, one of their largest markets.

Dan Valliere, Executive Director with Reach CDC, emphasized the need for new forms of community development lending with an emphasis on lines of credit for acquisition and construction. Trell Anderson, Executive Director at Northwest Housing Alternatives advocated for the pre-development funding and patient capital while Peter Hainley, Executive Director of Casa of Oregon made the case for reducing the interest rate as a subsidy for community development lending.

US Bank highlights

U.S. Bank is the largest bank in Oregon with 21 per cent of all bank deposits and the fifth largest bank in Washington with more than ten percent of all deposits.

Brian Hoop, with Housing Oregon, started off outlining similar key asks for reasonable lines of credit for land acquisition and construction, creation of a fund for pre-development grants and loans, and beginning a rural housing initiative with particular attention to rural Latinx populations.

Diane Linn, Executive Director at Proud Ground, spoke about support for funding community land trusts followed by Aubrey Dixon with Portland Housing Center advocating for homeownership counseling funding.

With US Bank’s statewide footprint, several Executive Directors pointed out the need for increasing financial support for rural community development. Erica Mills, the new Executive Director at NeighborWorks Umpqua spoke to the need to support refinancing of multifamily housing and Maria Elena Guerro, Executive Director of Farmworker Housing Development Corporation advocated for workforce program funding to train property managers.