Inclusive Procurement And Contracting: Building a Field of Policy and Practice

Overview

This study, co-authored by Emerald Cities and PolicyLink, and generously supported by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, surveys the current landscape on inclusive procurement and contracting policies and practices in the infrastructure and construction industries. The goal was to specifically determine how to best position minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses (MWDBEs) to effectively compete for large-scale construction projects in these industries. A successful inclusive procurement program of action is key not only to providing jobs, but also to closing the wealth gap needed to secure the well-being and future of children, families, and the regions in which they live.

This report details the rationale for inclusive practices in this industry and includes historical and current equitable development policies and trends. It also identifies challenges and best practices and sets forth recommendations for strengthening the field of practice. The report provides insight into inclusive procurement and contracting policies within the energy, water, transportation, health, education, and public housing sectors. It also considers the field of practice in different geographic regions of the United States. Download executive summary here.

Transportation Matters: Closing the Chasm between Housing and Transportation to Foster Communities of Opportunity for All

Overview

"Transportation Matters: Closing the Chasm between Housing and Transportation to Foster Communities of Opportunity for All," by PolicyLink staff member Anita Cozart, appears in the American Bar Association’s Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, volume 25, issue no. 2, © 2017 American Bar Association. It examines the "chasm" that exists between the two sectors and what can be done to break down the barriers and create benefits and opportunities for all. Please note: This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

Fostering Access to Opportunity HUD’s Proposed Affirmatively Furthering Housing Rule

Overview

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires HUD to conduct programs in such a manner that “affirmatively furthers fair housing” – a term that has never been defined. Responding to concerns raised by the Government Accountability Office and stakeholders, the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule does three key things:
 
  1. Clarifies the definition of AFFH to include actions that expand mobility for all households in opportunity-rich communities, reducing segregation and concentrated poverty – as well as actions that invest in high-poverty communities, expanding opportunity for existing residents.
  2. Improves the process that local jurisdictions undertake to ensure that HUD funds are being used to further fair housing by aligning it with Consolidated Plans for CDBG and HOME allocations and with Public Housing Plans for public housing dollars.
  3. Provides local jurisdictions with consistent data to ensure that grantees can measure their progress on reducing segregation and racially concentrated

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule is Sound Policy

Overview

While the Fair Housing Act has largely succeeded in outlawing overt housing discrimination, it has been less effective in promoting equal opportunity, in large part because of a lack of clarity and technical support surrounding the mandate to “affirmatively further” fair housing goals.

The AFFH rule provides much-needed clarification of the Fair Housing Act and provides support to HUD grantees that makes grantees better equipped to promote fair housing choice, foster inclusive communities, and increase opportunity for all residents.

AFH Roles Matrix

Overview

In this table, you will find examples of the different types of stakeholders that could be included in the AFH and what expertise and assets they may bring. You will find information on the kinds of data they might have access to, resources and in-kind support they might leverage and policies or programs they could implement to increase access to opportunity and promote fair housing.

This is not meant to be a checklist, but rather a tool for brainstorming potential stakeholders that will amplify the success of the AFH. Keep in mind that not every HUD program participant will need to include all of these players; however, many may play a vital role in ensuring better AFH outcomes, which leads to increased access to opportunity for historically marginalized communities.

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