Council President Darrell Clarke speaks at a podium


In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, News by PHL Council

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Philadelphia, June 13, 2019 – Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) on Thursday introduced an ordinance that requires developers receiving City investment and developers of high-impact projects to work with residents to identify and provide measurable community benefits.

Under the ordinance, high-impact projects and those receiving city investment must negotiate community benefits agreements (CBA) that meet the needs of the projects’ host communities. High impact developments include projects that are expected to have significant adverse effects — including physical, economic, and social effects — on the communities where they are planned.

The ordinance cites examples of the types of community benefits that may be negotiated under such agreements:

  • Support of educational programs, such as those in city schools, colleges and other educational institutions located in the host community;
  • Access to employment and career mentoring opportunities for youth who reside in the host community;
  • Development of information and networking sessions about contracting opportunities for small businesses in the host community; or
  • Support for neighborhood improvements – such as blight removal, expansion of affordable housing, or enhancement of available parks and recreational activities – in the host community.

Council has previously passed legislation requiring businesses receiving tax incentives to meet certain workforce diversity goals, make good faith efforts to hire Philadelphia residents, and pay fair wages. Codifying CBA requirements is a continuation of those efforts to ensure that growth in the City benefits the majority of residents, not just a select few. Moreover, while many municipalities utilize CBAs only on high-value projects, this ordinance bases the requirement on expected impact to the host community, focusing on people rather than on projected budgets.

“One of Council’s guiding principles is reducing poverty. To be successful in that we need policies that aren’t just about supporting growth, but rather about pursuing a shared vision for growth that explicitly promotes equitable job creation, education, and affordable housing. CBAs are a tool to allow residents to help shape that vision,” said Council President Clarke.

Read the ordinance.

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