Community Benefits Agreements in the USA (Part 2)

December 9, 2019

This is one of a series of articles, based on a report commissioned by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP).

Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) in the USA have included a wide range of benefits:

HOUSING

Affordable housing (units in market-rate projects or geared to low-income households), funding, or financing (including interest-free loans).

JOBS & SUPPLIERS

Recruitment and referral system for targeted communities via existing agencies or new non-profits

Fund for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship or job training. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, developer funds went to seed and operate a non-profit to coordinate training, job placements, and community engagement management.

Jobs and/or apprenticeships for local residents on construction project

Ongoing post-construction jobs for local residents

Living wage provisions

Local procurement/supplier provisions. Federal government programs for minority-owned, women-owned, and locally owned business enterprises often target such benefits.

COMMUNITY ASSETS & PUBLIC REALM

Parks, open space and streetscapes (creation/redevelopment/planning studies)

Funding or space for arts or public art

Space for local retailers and other businesses

Support for social programming (for youth, seniors, newcomers, etc.), local non-profit agencies or social enterprises

Space and/or support for community space, e.g. community centre, childcare centres, seniors’ centre, community kitchen, community gardens, and schools. The West Harlem CBA included significant and wide-ranging contributions to education from Columbia University.

Health clinic/funding for medical care

Food market (for an inner-city “food desert”, with little fresh and affordable food available)

Residential or other parking

OTHER BENEFITS

Interest-free or affordable loans to non-profits.

Free or subsidized Internet access and/or computer hardware for low-income residents, public libraries, parks, non-profits and/or schools. The Minneapolis CBA was a “digital inclusion CBA”.

Donations to the city (general funding) or public transit system. In New Haven, the developer funded two new positions at the city.