Community Benefits Agreements
Major metropolitan cities are in a constant battle to attract new urban redevelopment projects. Cities continue to wield a variety of tools, incentives and subsidies to attract development, these public investments rarely lead to community benefits that promote racial and economic equity. Community benefits agreements can help encourage more equitable development by allowing residents to voice their vision for publicly subsidized development in their communities.
A community benefits agreement is a legally enforceable contract that sets forth a range of strategic investments that for a local community as part of a development project. It is often the result of direct negotiations between a developer and organized representatives of affected communities.
Community benefits agreements may include living-wage requirements, minority contracting, first-source hiring preferences, fair labor practices, job training programs, land banking and affordable housing set asides, increased urban densities, transit integration, open space protections, environmental clean-up, community service centers, direct community involvement in the development planning process, creation of new funding resources, and other provisions.