Benefits of CRA/LA Social Equity Policies
Commissioned and Underwritten by the Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Los Angeles
February 2004, 54 pp.
BY: PATRICK BURNS, DANIEL FLAMING, AND BRENT HAYDAMACK, ECONOMIC ROUNDTABLE
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.