Community Benefits Agreement Best Practices

CFCs are being negotiated before a construction is submitted for city approval. This allows community members to intervene early in the planning process and also gives the coalition leverage to keep developers around the table. Before the pick, a development project usually has to overcome several obstacles, such as applying for grants. B grant applications, shingle changes and building permits. Most of these authorizations have a public entry process that allows organized communities to block a project or insist on changes. But with a signed CBA, the developer goes to approval with the full support of the coalition in these public hearings. Research tells us that there is not a single answer to this question. On the contrary, there are a number of ways to define the community in relation to an infrastructure project. The CBA, which was negotiated in 2001 for the expansion of the Staples Center sports arena in Los Angeles, is widely regarded as an exemplary CBA model. The initial phase of development, which also included the arena itself, was implemented with little community intervention and the results frustrated both residents and project staff. More than 250 residents, mostly low-income Latino immigrants, were evicted from their homes for parking. Residents who stayed were infested with a traffic and parking nightmare, night noise and drunk drivers.

The developer tried to abandon the promise to transfer longtime employees from the arena to the new facility at their current salaries, and unions had to stage a campaign to push the developer to keep his word. Employment opportunities are often at the heart of CBA`s concerns. Agreements generally include first-hand recruitment provisions that give residents the first chance to qualify for new jobs. CFCs can also spend money on the creation or improvement of training and job readiness programs to prepare residents for new jobs before the project is completed. CBAs also focus on the quality of employment, so they have requirements for many jobs to exceed a certain salary and provide health care; these employment quality standards can be linked by a local minimum wage regulation. The types of business tenants are often specified in the agreement. In particular, large boxing stores may be banned and the percentage of business tenants representing domestic or international stores is often limited. Restaurant windows in transit or even fast food can be prohibited.

On the other hand, a preference or requirement for “small” and “local” may be indicated. The agreement may require the developer to research and lease certain types of businesses such as grocery stores or other necessary goods and services. Targets or requirements for the percentages of minority or female tenants may be included. Often, the agreement requires the developer to ensure transparency about its performance with respect to the action elements of the contract. Finally, to truly strengthen communities, CBAs must be on the poorest people, both in the process and in the outcome. This means ensuring that the most marginalized voices are taken proactively in the decision-making table and that, ultimately, they are the ones who will benefit the most from the next CBA. By placing equity at the heart of economic development, the benefits of the Community can create shared prosperity and enable communities to build sustainable social capital. In short, the benefits of the Community are the additional social, economic or environmental benefits that are granted to local communities through the use of infrastructure funds. These benefits may include local employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged people in the labour market, social markets for the purchase of goods and services from local or social enterprises, improved