COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS,
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENTS, &
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BONDS
The AALC is on a journey to constantly learn about and gain inspiration from tools and methods of creating healthier, more equitable and more sustainable communities.
Join us on our journey this month as we provide brief overviews of Community Land Trusts, Community Benefits Agreements and Environmental Impact Bonds. Examples are included of Community Land Trusts and Land Trusts that exist in Arizona. At this time, to our knowledge, no Community Benefits Agreements or Environmental Impact Bonds have been used in our State.
COMMUNITY LAND TRUST
According to the Community Land Trust Network, "CLT's are nonprofit organizations - governed by a board of CLT residents, community residents and public representatives - that:
- provide lasting community assets and permanently affordable housing opportunities for families and communities
- create affordable rental and cooperative housing projects
- develop rural and urban agriculture projects
- develop commercial spaces to serve local communities
- conserve land or urban green spaces
However, the heart of their work is the creation of homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful home-ownership opportunities for generations of lower income families.
The Community Land Trust Network includes 6 Arizona CLTs that are members of the national network. More information about Arizona Community Land Trusts below:
A LOCAL EXAMPLE:
Newtown Community Development Corporation
Newtown Community Development Corporation (Newtown) is a Tempe-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Newtown was first incorporated in 1994 as Northwest Tempe Neighborhoods CDC Inc. by community members to address concerns about housing, access to basic goods and services, neighborhood preservation, sustainable development and diversity.
Newtown’s Community Land Trust (CLT) program provides access to home-ownership for home-buyers who are otherwise priced out of the housing market. CLT homes are sold for a price well below the prevailing market. CLT homes provide greater security than renting. CLT owners benefit from stable monthly payments, security from eviction, and have an opportunity to build equity through homeowner-ship. The CLT also protects the community’s investment in affordable housing. Newtown provides on-going support to CLT owners to help ensure their success as homeowners. Newtown has not had any CLT homes go to foreclosure.
To learn more about one of Newton's newest CLT projects, The Tempe Micro Estates, click here.
WHAT IS A LAND TRUST?
We've already talked about Community Land Trust, what is a land trust - in general?
“A land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, to achieve one or more conservation purposes.The conservation purposes may include protecting natural habitat, water quality, or scenic views; ensuring that the land is always available for farming, forestry, or outdoor recreational use; or protecting other values provided by open land."
"Land trusts work cooperatively with landowners to complete real estate transactions, sometimes purchasing property interests and sometimes accepting donations of those interests.Land trusts also work to ensure that land previously acquired or placed under easement is properly conserved. They seek to bring lasting conservation benefits—permanent improvements—to communities.”
Similar to the Community Land Trust Network, the Land Trust Alliance is a voice to the land trust community. As the national leader in policy, standards, education and training, the LTA works passionately to support land trusts so they can save and secure more lands now and for future generations. LTA envisions a re-energized, more relevant conservation movement, in which land trusts join with partners that have not traditionally identified as conservation organizations around our shared interest in protecting special places, from urban playgrounds to native prairies, from family farms to old-growth forests and from coastal wetlands to cactus-studded deserts.
A WIN-WIN APPROACH:
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT
As parts of Arizona continue to grow develop rapidly. It is important for us to consider different models that ensure development creates positive outcomes for all parties.
A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is a project-specific agreement between a developer and a broad community coalition that details the project’s contributions to the community and ensures community support for the project. Addressing a range of community issues, properly structured CBAs are legally binding and directly enforceable by the signatories.
CBAs allow a win-win approach to development: meaningful, up-front communication between the developer and a broad community coalition decreases developers’ risk while maximizing the positive impact of development on local residents and economies. The developer benefits from active community support of the project, and community members gain when the project responds to their needs.
Importantly, CBA's include two key advantages over the traditional land use approval process. First, the process of negotiating a CBA allows for a more constructive and collaborative conversation about meeting community needs than the often adversarial and highly structured hearings that are part of a local government’s project approval process. Second, a private agreement is free from certain critical legal constraints that apply to government conditions on development projects, so the community and the developer may negotiate over a wide variety of deal points and come up with creative approaches.
Why the Community Benefits Model Works
- Community benefits tools maximize returns on local government investment in development.
- Community benefits programs can transform regions through stronger, more equitable economies.
- Community benefits help generate public support for economic development projects.
- Delivering community benefits is smart business.
- CBAs hold developers accountable for their promises to local governments and residents.
- Public input results in better projects that benefit the whole community and attract local customers.
- Community benefits are part of a smart growth agenda.
- Time is money, and projects with CBAs often enjoy a faster, smoother entitlement process.
LEARNING BY EXAMPLE:
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BONDS
Quotes below from Lauire Mazur, Editor of the Island Press Urban Resilience Project's article in Governing
"Washington, D.C., had a problem. Like many cities with antiquated sewer systems, D.C. was under orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce stormwater runoff that threatened the region's water quality. To solve the problem, the city wanted to experiment with "green infrastructure" as an alternative to building costly new pipes and pumps. But green infrastructure had not yet been tried at that scale, so how could the city finance this unproven approach?"
From Governing article: A rain garden in downtown D.C.
"The answer, for D.C., was to launch the nation's first environmental impact bond in 2016. An EIB enables the city to share the risks -- and the rewards -- of innovative problem-solving with investors. EIBs are considered a "pay for success" strategy because investors' returns depend on whether the project meets its goals. Because of the need for extensive measurement around those goals, the jurisdiction also learns what works best for future planning. This approach is catching on, with Baltimore and Atlanta recently announcing plans to issue EIBs."
"Baltimore, another city with combined sewer problems, also will utilize EIBs to finance green infrastructure. Here, too, the need is urgent: Baltimore is required by federal and state regulators to reduce and treat polluted runoff from more than 4,000 acres of pavement and buildings by 2019. In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and with support from The Kresge Foundation, Baltimore plans to issue up to $6.2 million in EIBs later this year to help pay for stormwater management in some three dozen neighborhoods."
"Atlanta was the first winner of the "Environmental Impact Bond Challenge," funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with Quantified Ventures and municipal-bond broker Neighborly. Atlanta's will be the first publicly offered EIB, allowing residents to invest in improving their city. The city plans to use EIBs to fund approximately $12.9 million worth of green infrastructure projects in flood-prone neighborhoods on the city's west side."
MORE AND MORE
Communtity Benefits Agreements - City Case Studies
Pittsburgh: A Great Leap Forward for a Neighborhood Left Behind
After decades of disinvestment and exclusion from the benefits of redevelopment, Hill District leaders are charting the path toward equitable development in Pittsburgh. The Hill District community benefits agreement is the result of deep community organizing and alliances with labor and community leaders. The agreement creates enforceable polices that ensure publicly subsidized development projects deliver concrete and widespread benefits to local residents. When the doors to the Pittsburgh Penguin’s stadium opened, it signified the reversal of decades of development projects that came with empty promises. Because of One Hill’s determination, local residents were purchasing fresh food in their own neighborhood for the first time in 30 years. The agreement also provided $8.3 million to improve access to community services and guarantees that at least 40% of the living wage jobs at the arena go to local residents.
Shovels breaking ground on the former Oakland Army Base mark a new era of community empowerment. Revive Oakland's Good Jobs Policy is emblematic of how publicly funded development projects can create widespread economic opportunity. Thanks to an innovative good jobs policy, the warehouse and logistics complex envisioned for the former army base will create over 3,000 living wage jobs and reserve 50% of them for local residents. The policy will make it easier for the formerly incarcerated to find work, and establish the most groundbreaking protections for workers against the exploitative temporary work arrangements that are endemic in this sector.
Addressing Poverty with Redevelopment Dallas’ regional economy is robust and growing, yet there is cause for concern. Our regional economy is facing a crisis of economic inequality, which corresponds with racial inequality. On the one hand Dallas’ economy is surging, but on the other many working people struggle to get by. All too often white communities thrive, while communities of color fall behind.
While Houstonians have much to be proud of in their city, growing inequality and poverty jobs threatens the region's economic health. To address this issue, we must take a close look on where our tax money is going and how our cities can ensure prosperity for all residents.
THE LIVE WELL INCUBATOR
A collaboration between the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities and the Vitalyst Health Foundation
Research has shown that perhaps the greatest predictor of differences in our health, well-being and longevity is our zip code. A zip code is so powerful because it captures all of the elements of a healthy community. Community design, quality affordable food, education, housing, transportation and access to care are just some of the components. For more information about these and more elements, please visit the Live Well Arizona website.
The Live Well Arizona Incubator is looking for motivated teams that have identified a geographically-based health issue that lends itself to a multi-sector solution. Teams selected for the Incubator will be matched with a coach to guide them through the collaboration process and prepare the team to expand its work.
The Live Well Arizona Incubator will provide a coach who will guide the team through an eight- to ten-month process that will: expand and strengthen the team, cultivate community engagement, analyze and clarify the issue/challenge, establish shared goals and objectives, and develop an action plan. At the end of this process, the team will be in a position to take the next steps in addressing the community issue.
Each team must be committed to:
The Live Well Arizona Incubator will select teams based on the following criteria:
- Working with the coach to identify and recruit key partners
- Meeting at least monthly with the team and coach and arranging meeting logistics
- Working together through a collaborative process
- Documenting progress
- Participating in three in-person meetings to be held in the Phoenix area
Application forms are available here and must be submitted by August 1, 2018 by 5:00pm MST. If your team is selected for the Live Well Arizona Incubator, you will be notified by August 17, 2018.
- The identified issue/opportunity is place-based, rather than population-based.
- The identified issue/opportunity lends itself to a cross-sector response and solution.
- The identified issue/opportunity is a core element of a healthy community.
- The applicant has a team representing at least 2-3 sectors.
CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS
The biannual national conference convenes 600+ public health stakeholders from across the nation to share legal and policy strategies for advancing healthy communities, and the Network is thrilled that for the first time, it will be right here in Phoenix. The conference’s 40+ panels and pre-conference workshops on wide-ranging health justice issues such as preemption, food access/waste, healthy transportation, and homelessness.
Coming up, Elsewhere
September 6, 2018 2:00 - 3:30 PM
The developer of a brownfields redevelopment brings important resources to the project, including private capital and managing risks. However, because brownfields projects are often very complex, the developer will often need support from the public sector in order to see a project to completion. During this webinar, hear the developer’s perspective in the deal, including how they assemble their capital stack and negotiate with the public sector to maximize investment in the site and as well as surrounding properties. Join CDFA, our technical partners, and experienced brownfield communities as we discuss how to negotiate with developers and involve them in a broader brownfields strategy.
This webcast is designed for professionals who work directly with brownfield sites as well as economic development professionals and communities interested in shaping programs to enhance redevelopment financing opportunities. Registration is free and open to all interested stakeholders.
From America Walks:
July 11, 2018 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific
This webinar will explore some of that work and the trends of walkability in rural communities. This webinar is intended is for those just starting out on the walking path as well as our more experienced advocates.
Attendees of this webinar will:
- Learn about programs, policies, and projects that support walkability in rural communities and small towns
- Hear inspiring stories of communities on the walking path
- Explore resources that can help you in your work to create walkable communities
Act Fast: The Growing Call for Slower Speeds (August 8)- Register Here
Every community member has a right to safe places to walk and be physically active. Unfortunately, the rise in pedestrian fatalities in recent years reminds us that our work in protecting that right is far from done. Hear from those leading the call for slower speeds and communities putting people first in the call for safer streets.
Pedestrians Are People Too: The Criminalization of Walking (September 12)- Register Here
Walking is the original form of transportation and yet too often it is forgotten in planning, promotion, and protection. Equally concerning is the increased messaging around victim-blaming, distracted walking legislation, and other moves to criminalize walking. This webinar will explore the criminalization in walking and the responsibility we all have in supporting a culture of safe and accessible walkability.