Community Benefits Agreements

Community Benefits
The National Economics Department
Financial Freedom Campaign
What is a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)?
The Birth of the CBA
CBA’s in Action: Examples of Success Stories
Why are CBA’s Needed?
CBAs V.S. Development Agreements
The CBA Development Process
How are CBAs Enforced?
Implementing A CBA
Advantages: Community and Developers
The CBA VS. NAACP Fair Share
CBAs & NAACP Unit Engagement
What Is A Community Benefits
A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) is a legally
enforceable contract negotiated and executed
directly between the developer and a community
coalition of neighborhood associations, faith-based
organizations, unions, environmental groups, and
others representing the interests of people who will
be impacted by proposed new developments.
The Birth of the CBA
During the initial construction of the Staples
Center (1999), developers failed to consult with
the local community.
Upon the Center’s completion, the surrounding
neighborhoods experienced increased crime,
congestion, etc.
When an expansion of the Center was being
proposed, local businesses and residents decided
to “provoke a dialogue” between them and the
developers to ensure benefits for the community.
The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
(LAANE) worked with then City Council member
Jackie Goldberg to incorporate community
benefit provisions (including living wages, job
training, etc)
CBAs In Action
Used in various kinds of development:
Airport Modernization Projects (Los Angeles)
Industrial Projects (Los Angeles)
Sports related complexes (San Diego)
Hospital Expansions (New Haven)
Franchises for broadband internet access (Twin Cities)
Urban Renewal Projects (Milwaukee and Atlanta)
Why are CBAs Needed?
 Development Projects are springing up in areas
where low income residents and people of color
have strong presences.
 While these projects are said to bring much needed
jobs and tax revenues to these communities, there
often is no guarantee that these opportunities will
benefit those who need them most.
 CBAs give a role in the process to the community
residents /stakeholders to help ensure that all parties
needs are adequately addressed.
CBAs V.S. Development Agreements
Community Benefits Agreements:
Development Agreements:
– Are generally contracts between
two private parties: a developer
and a community coalition.
– Also known as Public-Private
Partnerships (PPP), are entered into
between a developer and a city.
– Not subjected to the same legal
issues that public entities, such as a
city would confront when entering
an agreement with a developer.
– Community members are generally
not involved in the bilateral PPP
negotiations between a developer
and a municipal entity.
– PPPs must be legally evaluated in
terms of their impact on the
municipality’s exercise of its police
powers and with regard to possible
unconstitutional impairment of
The CBA Development Process
Research &
Getting the
Developer to
the table
How Are CBAs Enforced?
 CBAs are legally binding. They can be enforced only
by a party that has signed it.
 CBAs that are incorporated into Development
Agreements can be enforced by the government as
well as by community groups.
 All CBAs generally contain carefully crafted provisions
describing how commitments will be monitored and
enforced. Each commitment usually has a defined
term of years.
Implementing A CBA
 Some require ongoing implementation by several entities.
– A local hiring program, for example may require employees to send notice of
job opportunities and to interview certain candidates while job training
centers match applicants with available jobs and make prompt referrals.
 Many community benefits require ongoing communication
between community groups and the developer for a
number of years.
 CBA responsibilities can also be fulfilled well before
development begins.
For instance, a developer could make a one time payment into an existing
neighborhood improvement fund.
Key Community Advantages
Community Benefits Cont.
 A living wage requirement
for workers employed in
the development
 Environmentally- beneficial
changes in major airport
 A “first source” hiring
system, to target job
opportunities in the
development to residents
of low-income
 Construction of parks and
recreational facilities
 A space for neighborhood
child care center
 Construction of affordable
 Community input in
selection of tenants of the
How the Developers Benefit
CBAs garner community support for
the project which increases the
chances that the project will be
CBAs may be a more cost effective way
of sharing some of the benefits of the
development than other means used
in public approval processes.
CBAs provide more certainty that a
project will not be challenged in court.
NAACP’s Operation Fair Share (OFS)
The three objectives were:
 Establishment of minority vendor programs for purchase
of goods and services including utilizing African American
contractors, etc.
 Establishment of programs for African American
advancement to senior management positions
 Representation of African Americans on corporate boards
and direction of contributions to worthy African
American organizations and causes
From Fair Share to CBA’s
 In the past the NAACP had its own Community/Industry
Cooperative Initiative called Fair Share, which shared many
similarities with the CBA framework. However, today the
NAACP chooses to focus on the utilization of Community
Benefit Agreements to advance diversity and strengthen
The NAACP urges its units to join forces with already established
coalitions that engage in Community Benefit Agreement work.
The NAACP will do its part to educate and encourage the use of
Community Benefit Agreements where applicable, particularly with
respect to the increased employment, contracting, and procurement
opportunities that are made available as a result of these agreements.
Anne E Casey Foundation – Neighborhood
The Center on Policy Initiatives
The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
Working Partnerships USA

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