10. Several other laws complement the CRA, including the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The Fair Housing Act7 (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act8 (ECOA) are two important laws relating to lending in minority applicants and predominantly minority communities. They complement and supplement the CRA in coverage and enforcement. The FHA and ECOA are broader than the CRA in that they cover all lenders, not just banks. They also differ in the characteristics they protect: while the CRA focuses on income, the FHA and the ECOA protect against discrimination based on race, gender, and disability, among other characteristics. The CRA and ECOA cover all forms of credit, while the FHA covers housing-related credit transactions. Finally, while it is very difficult to enforce the CRA in court, the FHA and ECOA mandate strict penalties for violations, including monetary damages, and both can be enforced in court by private individuals or groups and by government agencies at the behest of private parties.