CBAs are strategic vehicles for community improvement, while benefiting private sector developers and both state and local governments. They are not zero-sum instruments. They are legal agreements between community benefit groups and developers, stipulating the benefits a developer agrees to fund or furnish, in exchange for community support of a project. Benefits can include commitments to hire directly from a community, contributions to economic trust funds, local workforce training guarantees and more. The Toolkit is aimed at private sector development and is not intended to address federal projects.
CBAs pivot around local and state government officials: since governments need support from their constituencies and developers need government support for items like zoning approvals, developers have clear incentives to accommodate community interests. When synergistic development models like CBAs are employed, developers experience reduced risk and communities profit from improved cost/benefit positions. Thus CBAs are mutually-reinforcing, since all three stakeholder groups gain, albeit uniquely.
The Office of Minority Business and Economic Development understands the benefits of CBAs and therefore created its Community Benefit Agreement Toolkit. It contains a comprehensive Guide, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and PowerPoint Presentation. Together, or separate, these components give stakeholders a solid understanding of CBAs, their benefits, and the collective action process that brings them to fruition. They also provide examples and multiple resources for communities, government officials, and developers interested in learning more.
Please access the Toolkit components by clicking on their corresponding links below.