(Washington, DC) – Today, on the first day of #FairShot Week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the DC Government is partnering with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to launch DC REACh, an initiative to promote financial inclusion for underserved District communities, small businesses, and residents through greater access to credit and capital.
“This initiative is about removing the structural barriers to capital and credit that prevent too many people from getting their fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser. “By bringing everyone to the table, we can focus on creating solutions that help more Washingtonians buy homes, start businesses, and build wealth.”
OCC launched Project REACh in July 2020 to promote financial inclusion through greater access to credit and capital. The initiative brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business, community organizations, and technology to identify and reduce barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation’s economy.
Nationally, Project REACh focuses on several priorities:
- Creating an alternative credit scoring method to help millions of Americans who face less accessible and more expensive credit because they have no usable credit scores.
- Expanding affordable housing options to help families build wealth by converting bank-owned housing inventories into affordable homes through low-cost transfer and renovation loans.
- Providing technical assistance and other support for minority-owned banks and small businesses, which play critical roles in their communities but face challenges accessing capital and other resources.
“Project REACh is a convening forum with the important goal of tearing down barriers that keep our financial system from providing the same full, fair, and equal access to everyone,” said Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu. “With the launch of concentrated efforts here in D.C., this initiative has the potential to provide meaningful opportunities that will benefit many businesses and consumers in the nation’s capital.”
DC REACh will be administered by the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB). DC REACh will include three workstreams that focus on affordable homeownership, improving access to credit, and supporting small and minority-owned businesses.
“DC REACh will develop area-specific solutions to address barriers to wealth building for minority communities with a particular focus on the three workstreams that are so central to the lives of District residents,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods.
For additional information on DC REACh and DISB programs and resources, visit disb.dc.gov.
Throughout #FairShot Week, the Bowser Administration will highlight various new and existing programs designed to give Washingtonians a fair shot and accelerate the District’s economic recovery. The Mayor will promote some of the many tools listed on ObviouslyDC.com that provide financial assistance and guidance to local businesses and businesses that want to open in, expand to, and create jobs and opportunity in Washington, DC.