The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recently released their 2016 list of nonmetropolitan middle-income areas deemed distressed or underserved and where revitalization or stabilization activities are eligible to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration as community development.
“Distressed nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies and underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies are designated by the agencies in accordance with their CRA regulations,” the Fed said on its website. “The designations continue to reflect local economic conditions, including unemployment, poverty, and population changes.”
North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia were the three states with the most distressed nonmetro areas. Poverty was listed as the most rampant issue in Texas, but unemployment in nonmetro areas was almost absent. Poverty was also the overwhelming issue in North Carolina and Georgia, but joblessness was also a factor in many towns.
The Northeast, except for New York, Maine, and Pennsylvania, all but escaped the list. Massachusetts listed one underserved nonmetro in Nantucket, but Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Delaware had no presence on the list. Hawaii also escaped the list, the only area outside the Northeast to do so.
Revitalization or stabilization activities on the list are eligible to receive CRA consideration as community development for 12 months. The CRA was first enacted by Congress in 1977 and revised in both 1995 and 2005. The purpose of the CRA is to "encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations," according to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board web site.
Click here to view the complete list of nonmetro middle-income areas deemed distressed or underserved.