Asthma and the Environment
This tool describes how environmental conditions aggravate asthma, and highlights the efforts of groups that are working to improve these conditions. Based on the experiences and perspectives of local advocates, this tool makes policy recommendations and suggests various strategies and resources for improving air quality in homes, in schools, and outdoors.
Transit Oriented Development
TOD is a planning and design trend that seeks to create compact, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented communities located around new or existing public transit stations. This tool focuses on how to implement TOD in a way that achieves equity goals. (Download PDF)
EAH is a flexible tool that can be tailored to work in different community contexts and to support various equitable development goals. Most EAH programs help employees purchase homes—often near their workplace. They can also provide rental assistance or increase the amount of housing in the surrounding community that is affordable for an employer's workers.
Healthy Food Retailing
For decades, low-income urban and rural communities have faced limited opportunities to purchase healthy food. This tool focuses on strategies to increase access to retail outlets that sell nutritious, affordable food in these underserved communities.
This tool covers strategies used to encourage redevelopment of brownfields (abandoned, idled, or underutilized commercial or industrial sites). Brownfield redevelopment is complicated by the real and perceived dangers of environmental contamination. Infill development is the use of vacant land within built urban areas. Reclaiming brownfields and the use of infill development offers new land use options in gentrifying areas.
Ensures that healthy local businesses owned by people of color are a basic component of strong, sustainable communities. These businesses generate job opportunities for residents, and keep money circulating within the neighborhood. This tool reviews major approaches for achieving parity for minority-owned businesses.
An array of strategies that connect economically marginalized communities to regional job opportunities. For example, linkage programs can require that a percentage of jobs created by a commercial development go to local residents. Other programs link urban core and inner-ring suburban residents to employment opportunities around the region. Building such economic opportunity helps residents remain in their communities.
Housing Development 101
Increasing and preserving affordable housing stock is critical to community stability. There are a range of practices that are aimed at both existing housing and new development. The focus is typically protecting low-income residents most at risk of displacement from gentrification. Often strategies expand to include a spectrum of housing choices from rental to ownership in a range of income classes.
Use: Retention of Subsidized Housing
Protects "expiring use" subsidized housing from losing its affordability-designation and reverting to the private market. This tool clarifies ways to protect affordable housing originally supported by HUD, with a special focus on regions with extreme housing shortages, and not coincidentally, considerable amounts of gentrification.
A range of programs and fees that tie economic development to the construction of affordable housing. Most require developers of new commercial properties to pay fees to support affordable housing construction. Linkage programs support smart growth, mitigate rising housing costs caused by economic development, and provide a dedicated source of revenue for affordable housing.
This tool reviews effective techniques employed by community-based organizations to preserve cultural organizations and longstanding commercial enterprises that define the historic character of communities. These institutions are frequently the most vulnerable to displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.
This tool identifies key information needed to assess the considerable public and private forces driving gentrification. The tool reviews effective community mapping and indicator projects; identifies key data sources to guide community interventions; and shows the role of mapping in community education and organizing.
Development Financial Institutions
Existing and emerging resident-owned financial institutions serve to build assets for low-income/low-wealth residents and provide them with a stronger voice in running an institution dedicated to neighborhood development and revitalization.
Businesses, based on democratic principles, owned and run by various stakeholders such as employees, producers, consumers, or others. Co-op models targeted to low- income/low-wealth residents can offer potential financial benefits, business skills, and experience in running a democratically controlled enterprise.
Cause Eviction Controls
These laws give special protections to the elderly, disabled and catastrophically ill, and ensure that landlords can only evict with proper cause, such as failure to pay rent or property destruction. They protect renters against being unfairly evicted by landlords who want to capitalize on the explosive rental and housing markets.
Prevents and abates violations on private property such as vacant, poorly maintained, and dangerous buildings, illegal dumping, weeded lots, graffiti, junk motor vehicles and more. Code enforcement can be an important way to protect existing residents or to accelerate gentrification. This tool will provide strategies to ensure resident protection.
Density bonuses allow developers to create higher density projects, increasing affordability measures. Infill incentives reward innovative housing efforts to expand homeownership through unused or abandoned lots in urban core neighborhoods. Used properly, these programs can produce new housing units, reduce blight, preserve open space, reduce traffic, and encourage retail development that serves the needs of existing residents.
Requires new commercial developments to contribute fees to the development of affordable housing, community services and infrastructure. Creative nonprofit organizations are utilizing exactions as an anti-gentrification tool to finance services such as day care, cultural centers, job training, below market rate housing, and ride sharing.
Ordinances that ensure the employees of public contractors, private contractors receiving public sector funding, and public employees are paid wages at pace with regional cost of living measures. Higher wages achieved through living wage ordinances assist low-income residents in remaining in their communities, lead to greater stability in the workforce and increase the municipal tax base.
A review of legal and programmatic protections for renters to slow the pace in markets with rapidly escalating rental prices. The effectiveness and implications of rent control has been heavily debated for as long as such ordinances have existed. This tool reviews their potential application in gentrifying contexts, as well as the compeimentary techniques necessary to make this a useful strategy.
with Resident Shareholders
An emerging tool that offers low-income/low-wealth residents the opportunity to own equity in real estate projects spearheaded by community development corporations (CDCs). Owning CDC project stock provides residents with financial benefits and voice in the neighborhood development process. This tool directs profits from development back into the community, ensuring benefit for existing residents.
Congressional mandate that financial and depository institutions, such as commercial banks, help meet credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. To utilize the Act as an anti-displacement tool requires diligent monitoring to ensure investment occurs, as well as strategic planning to direct investment to benefit residents.
Land use regulation mandating a percentage (usually 15-20%) of the housing units in any project above a given size be affordable to people of low and moderate incomes. The developer can build the housing or contribute to a fund to develop it elsewhere. This tool has particular relevance in gentrifying communities, where high-income and luxury apartment developments can quickly overrun the existing low- and moderate-income housing stock.
Public funds, established by legislation, ordinance or resolution, to receive specific revenues dedicated to affordable housing development. The key characteristic of a housing trust fund is that it receives on-going revenues from dedicated sources such as commercial development taxes, fees on loan repayments, and transfer taxes. These funds can stabilize communities facing gentrification pressures.
Equity Housing Cooperatives
A partnership wherein residents collectively own and control their housing. The limited equity component limits the return on resale, insuring that housing remains affordable to future residents. Limited equity co-ops promote democratic participation through resident control and ownership.
A model where nonprofit organizations acquire and hold land for community benefit, making the land available to individuals through long-term land leases. Residents own the homes located on the land. This alternative property ownership model insures long term community benefits such as permanent affordability, while creating homeownership and equity opportunities for individual residents.