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Benefits of CRA/LA Social Equity Policies

February 1, 2004 / By Patrick Burns, Daniel Flaming and Brent Haydamack
Underwriter: the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency

What benefits result from social equity policies mandated for projects of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)? This Economic Roundtable report identifies the potential benefits accrued by tenants, employees and the surrounding neighborhoods of CRA projects that are affected by City and CRA/LA policies. The report has three sections: the first section describes the circumstances leading up to CRA/LA’s request for a review of its various social equity policies. The second section profiles three neighborhoods that are home to recent CRA/LA projects that serve as case studies for this report. The third section analyzes each of CRA/LA’s social equity policies, seeking to quantify their impacts upon local industries, occupations and, where possible, neighborhoods.

CONTEXT OF CRA/LA SOCIAL EQUITY POLICIES REPORT: The Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles currently has an array of “social equity” policies that are pre-conditions for development projects in areas under CRA/LA jurisdiction. Developed over a number of years, these policies are embodied in written development agreements negotiated between the site developer and CRA/LA. The policies vary by the type of redevelopment project (such as commercial retail versus housing-oriented projects) and cover social equity objectives such as non-discriminatory hiring, paying prevailing wages, and providing childcare facilities or job training.

In 2003, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) proposed that CRA/LA adopt a policy of requiring a Community Impact Report to provide an analytic framework for assessing the social equity benefits of new, large development projects. This proposal is currently under consideration by the CRA/LA Board as well as by the Los Angeles City Council, although the CRA/LA Board has deferred its action pending that taken by City Council. Both bodies have requested a review of current CRA/LA policies to identify the net benefits and costs to developers and the community of current social equity policies. These cost and benefit analyses will be used in considering future CRA/LA social equity policies, or adjustments to current policies.

Section Headings:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Context of CRA/LA Social Equity Policies
  3. Community Profiles
  4. Benefits from CRA/LA Social Equity PoliciesFair Share, Local Contracting And Hiring
  5. Prevailing or Living Wages
  6. Childcare Service Access
  7. Job Training
  8. Affordable Housing
  9. Summary of Estimated Benefits
Photograph by mSeattle, "Income Inequality." Uploaded to Flickr Creative Commons on August 9, 2011, taken on July 29, 2011. Protected under the CC BY 2.0 DEED license.

Photograph by mSeattle, “Income Inequality.” Uploaded to Flickr Creative Commons on August 9, 2011, taken on July 29, 2011. Protected under the CC BY 2.0 DEED license.


Area of Work: Economy, People
Tags: Los Angeles, Social Policies