Affordable Housing Champion
Cinnamon Chambers-Lewis brings years of professional experience working in the financial industry most of which were devoted to developing programs around the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), corporate social responsibility initiatives, and consulting for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. Ms. Chambers-Lewis has nearly two decades of experience in the community development industry, ten of which have specifically been associated with affordable housing programming, government antipoverty initiatives, and non-profit agencies. She has assisted with the development of VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites, as well as implemented numerous financial literacy and homebuyer education programs throughout New York City communities.
Ms. Chambers-Lewis’ personal best practice is to focus her efforts on banks requiring foundational expertise in developing programs toward CRA goals. Her advocacy for non-profits and government agencies has been instrumental in creating lasting community development partnerships.
Her most recent tenure with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, while brief, demonstrated fruitful success by establishing multiple lending and investment relationships with CDFI’s, non-profits, and creating a platform for the bank’s corporate social responsibility and community development service initiatives. She led implementation and execution of a sustainable and compliant CRA strategy, business, and communications plan resulting in a satisfactory upgrade to their prior CRA rating.
In prior years, at both Astoria Bank, now Sterling National, and Amalgamated Bank, Ms. Chambers-Lewis established CRA programs focusing on first time home buyers program in partnership with Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and SONYMA and partnered with business lines to design and implement products and programs targeting low-to-moderate income customers and communities. Additional responsibilities included, but not limited to, the coordination of regulatory filings, examinations, and ongoing communication with regulatory agencies concerning CRA matters as well as developed and implemented CRA program administration, including oversight for: CRA public files and notices; socio-economic data analytics; and CRA—related lending, investments, and service efforts to ensure exam readiness.
Remaining an active participant on board affiliations and committees with non-profits and CDFI’s, the Disability Opportunity Fund, New York Women’s Foundation and Neighborhood Housing Services, to name a few, she makes it a habit to develop referral sources and actively seeks and refers new business and community development program opportunities through this participation.
Ms. Lewis attended Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and prides herself in being a native New Yorker, though she currently resides in New Jersey. She is married with two children who are twenty-three and fourteen years old.