DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday a new initiative to provide small businesses, residents, and underserved District communities with better access to credit and capital.
DC REACh that was launched on the first day of the city’s #FairShot Week in collaboration with the US Department of Treasury.
“This initiative is about removing the structural barriers to capital and credit that prevent too many people from getting their fair shot,” Bowser said in a statement. “By bringing everyone to the table, we can focus on creating solutions that help more Washingtonians buy homes, start businesses, and build wealth.”
The “financial inclusion” project was first started in July 2020 by US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Project REACh aims to help Americans with no usable credit scores benefit from an alternative credit scoring method.
It also focuses on improving affordable housing options for families “by converting bank-owned housing inventories into affordable homes through low-cost transfer and renovation loans.”
Minority-owned banks and small businesses will be provided technical assistance and other support as part of the initiative.
“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,” Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu said. “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.”