Community Benefits Agreements: The Power, Practice, and Promise of a Responsible Redevelopment Tool

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

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Annie E. Casey Foundation

Year: 2007

The first segment of the session focused on the power of CBAs as a tool for responsible redevelopment. Discussion centered on the imbalance of power among the parties involved in CBAs, some approaches to dealing with these imbalances, and the importance of building power in the community. A significant thread throughout this discussion was the importance of community voice and how to empower communities to advocate for those terms that will improve the quality of life of families and children that live in redeveloping neighborhoods and are affected by the redevelopment projects.

The second segment of the session focused on the CBA negotiation process. The centerpieces of this discussion were leverage, enforceability, political leadership to initiate the process, and debate about financial benefits accruing to community groups as a result of the negotiation of a CBA. This conversation brought to light many of the issues that arise regarding the implementation of CBAs and allowed participants to suggest possible solutions to these issues.

The final segment of the session focused on the promise of CBAs as a tool to change the way development and redevelopment are done. While there was broad consensus that there is a move to increase the use of CBAs,this portion of the conversation focused on how to continue the movement in a way that produces development projects that benefit all stakeholders. Discussion also centered on some of the steps the movement will need to take in the near future to ensure its sustainability.

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Table of Contents

I. Preface
II. Foreword
III. Keynote Address: Reaching Uncommon Common Ground
IV. Background on Community Benefits Agreements: The Process, the Projects, and the Prospects for the Future
V. Framing Questions
VI. Session Summary
VII. Participant Bios