The California Reinvestment Committee was organized in 1986 by an ad-hoc group of nonprofit community-based organizations and developers. Its founding purpose was to use the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to increase the flow of credit, services and investments to California's low-income communities and communities of color.
CRC’s approach was to negotiate detailed, written CRA commitments from California's major banks. The first commitment was made by Wells Fargo Bank in 1986, and the second by the Bank of America in 1989 . These commitments identified the banks’ community reinvestment goals and specific programs that supported affordable housing, economic development and consumer products designed for under-served populations and communities.
In 1992, CRC was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization. Since then, CRC has expanded its programs to include the publishing of reports; helping to organize and support local grassroots efforts; researching the financial services industry for public education purposes; and participation in the state and federal policy arena.
In 2004, CRC changed its name to the California Reinvestment Coalition to belatedly recognize the change in its size and structure from a committee to a coalition. Since then, CRC's membership has grown to include nearly 300 nonprofits fighting for fair and equal access to credit and housing for low income communities and communities of color in California.
Since 2007, CRC has focused much of its work on the expansion of foreclosure prevention efforts to keep families in their homes. CRC has responded to the mortgage meltdown and financial collapse by leading statewide and local efforts to solve the foreclosure crisis that involves all key stakeholders: financial institutions; local, state and national policymakers; regulators; housing agencies and counselors; community organizations and residents.
In 2008, CRC partnered with the San Francisco Foundation and the California Community Foundation, to launch CRC’s mortgage initiative-- the California Homeownership Preservation Initiative, or CHOPI. CRC raised $5.3 million to expand the capacity of foreclosure counseling services throughout the state. From 2008-2010, every dollar of this initiative was given to nonprofit housing counselors to increase their capacity to help California homeowners avoid foreclosure. As a result, 44,685 homeowners were counseled and 6,343 foreclosures were prevented.
The California Reinvestment Coalition was organized in 1986.