While the current economic climate makes real estate development extremely challenging, it also highlights the critical role that government can play in creating opportunity and reducing inequality in urban areas. Now more than ever, we must make sure that development results in shared prosperity, and that public resources are invested for public benefit wisely, with an eye on long-term outcomes.
The Partnership is spurred by the belief that economic decision-making should be inclusive and open, and that economic development strategies should create opportunities for workers and build a stronger middle class. Our main goals are to broaden public participation and to ensure that economic development creates real, measurable community benefits. This framework can make development a powerful force in improving the lives of workers, families and cities as a whole.
As a network, we organize, negotiate, and implement precedent-setting community benefits agreements (CBAs) on projects around the country. Our Community Benefits Law Center and extensive peer network promote best practices around community benefits campaigns and negotiations, and fosters and supports progressive municipal policies that benefit working families.
At a broader scale, our partners are leading important efforts to establish policies that increase developer accountability and government transparency, and create opportunities for meaningful community participation. By requiring developers to submit detailed information about project finances, and the extent to which proposed developments can meet community needs, these policies create a system that gives people access to the information they need to make informed choices—and fully engage in setting community economic development objectives.
Together we are linking economic development to residents’ well being by seeking to attach standards to all subsidized development. Many of our partners are moving local hire policies and agreements linked to large public investments. In many cities our partners are innovating construction standards connected to transit, publicly financed development or retrofits, and special development areas.
Across the country, we are organizing to make the consideration of community benefits a standard part of official economic development plans and actions. Public officials are paying increased attention to community concerns, including wages, affordable housing, training and career path opportunities, and healthy communities. Together we are working to ensure that the concept of local government intervention for public benefit is embedded in the new urban agenda.
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