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
32 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2008
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.
Keywords: CBAs, community benefits agreements, development agreements, social equity, community development
JEL Classification: K11, R52, R59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation