Federal banking regulators need to clarify what Community Reinvestment Act credit can be expected by depository institutions for providing assistance to disaster areas hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders."It is important for the agencies to clarify, once and for all, that all banks will receive CRA credit for providing lending, investment, and service activities to revitalize or stabilize the hurricane stricken areas, and to assist evacuees," NAAHL president Judy Kennedy say in a comment letter to the regulators on CRA guidance. The association's letter points out that the banking agencies have been "inconsistent" in the treatment of disaster relief. "The wide area of devastation and the number of those displaced require strong efforts to help areas and persons in need," Ms. Kennedy says. "Wherever they are located, banks should receive favorable consideration for their assistance, with more weight given to benefits to low- and moderate-income individuals or areas." The association can be found online at http://www.naahl.org.

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