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Negotiating for Social Justice and the Promise of Community Benefits Agreements: Case Studies of Current and Developing Agreements


Patricia Salkin


Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Amy Lavine


Albany Law School


Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 17, Fall 2007/Spring 2008

Abstract:     
A community benefits agreement (CBA) is a private contract negotiated between a prospective developer and community representatives. In essence, the CBA specifies the benefits that the developer will provide to the community in exchange for the community's support, or quiet acquiescence, of its proposed development. The promise of community support may be especially useful to a developer seeking government subsidies or timely project approvals. The CBA is a relative newcomer to the toolbox of strategies that communities may utilize to ensure that development occurs consistent with the sometimes more narrow goals and desires of neighborhood residents, as opposed to the sometimes broader goals and desires of municipal and regional governing bodies. The CBA concept is still in its infancy. However, with only about ten years of experience with CBAs, a number of differences and similarities are emerging as case studies are developed and reviewed across the country. This article is intended to document a comprehensive review of major CBA processes in cities across the United States;some successful, some not so successful, and some still in the development stages to gain better insights into the legal, social, and political aspects of negotiating for social justice as part of the land development process.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: CBAs, community benefits agreements, development agreements, social equity, community development

JEL Classification: K11, R52, R59

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Date posted: April 9, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Salkin, Patricia and Lavine, Amy, Negotiating for Social Justice and the Promise of Community Benefits Agreements: Case Studies of Current and Developing Agreements. Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 17, Fall 2007/Spring 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1117681

Contact Information

Patricia E. Salkin (Contact Author)
Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )
225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

Amy Lavine
Albany Law School ( email )
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States
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