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Fed Chair Visits Houston’s Fifth Ward To Show Support For Harvey-Ravaged Communities

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell wanted communities affected by Harvey to know that the Fed has their back.

Abner Fletcher/Houston Public Media
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell, center, visits with community leaders in the Fifth Ward Thursday, Nov. 15. 2018.

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Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's visit to Houston's Fifth Ward on Thursday was meant to be a "listening tour."

He stopped by an affordable housing site, a college prep school and the historic DeLuxe Theater on Lyons Avenue.

He then listened to community leaders and asked them questions about the recovery from Harvey.

Powell said part of the Fed's responsibility is defined in the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages banks to meet the credit needs of lower-income communities.

"And we're only looking to make it more effective," Powell said. "I know there's a lot of concern and discomfort in some communities about that, but just know that's where the Federal Reserve is."

Interest rates are a big concern for many of those who are still rebuilding after Harvey and took out loans. The Fed is expected to raise rates for the fourth time this year – a move for which President Donald Trump has criticized Powell.

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