Compliance Q&A: Definition of Distressed & Underserved Community


I have spent the afternoon looking for a simple “definition” of what a distressed and underserved community is. I have found bits and pieces, and I have found the updated lists for 2018, but we are undergoing some policy updates, and would like to align our definition with what the FRB and FFIEC define them as, but I am at a loss to find something. Can you help, or point me in the right direction?


Distressed or underserved communities are designated by the FRB, FDIC, and OCC, based on rates of poverty, unemployment, population loss, population size, density, and dispersion. The bank would need to use the lists for determining if a loan is being made in a distressed or underserved community.

For reference:

The distressed lists:

And the CRA:

(iii) Distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies designated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, based on—

(A) Rates of poverty, unemployment, and population loss; or

(B) Population size, density, and dispersion. Activities revitalize and stabilize geographies designated based on population size, density, and dispersion if they help to meet essential community needs, including needs of low- and moderate-income individuals.


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