Building Healthy Communities of Opportunity

Overview

From San Francisco, California to Flint, Michigan, the nation is facing an escalating housing crisis. Skyrocketing rents, inadequate infrastructure, and stagnant wages have deep implications on both the prosperity and the health of families. With the housing market failing to serve the vast majority of Americans, PolicyLink and The Kresge Foundation partnered to develop a new equity framework that highlights how the confluence of health and housing can potentially drive better outcomes in both fields. The groundbreaking report, "Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges," weaves together insights from health, housing, and economic security to outline a case for progressive, equity-focused policy.

This webinar, hosted by PolicyLink and The Kresge Foundation, discusses post-recession housing challenges facing households in America, and the housing policy priorities that would create smarter, healthier, resilient, inclusive communities. The webinar featured national leaders focused on how thoughtful, coordinated investments can shape the next generation of healthy communities.

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.

Indianapolis - Closing Opportunity Gaps Through Industrial Redevelopment

Overview

The Equitable Innovation Economies (EIE) pilot presented an opportune moment for LISC Indianapolis and Plan2020 to work collaboratively to reach the dual goals of embedding equity objectives in an emerging citywide policy framework, as well as in LISC’s industrial revitalization activities.

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Portland - Cultivating Diverse Leaders And An Inclusive Startup Culture

Overview

PDC, Portland’s redevelopment, urban renewal, and economic development agency, has documented that change is coming — according to the National Equity Atlas, by 2040, 42 percent of the city’s population will be people of color. Recognizing the fact that Portland’s economic future is tied to growing the wealth of the city’s communities of color, he agency made equity and inclusion the central themes of its five-year strategic plan, adopted in 2015.

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New York - Building A 21st Century Production Economy For All New Yorkers

Overview

The company has three founders of color who graduated from the Pratt Institute’s Industrial and Product Design programs in 2014 and 2015. The following year, Wear.works received an initial prototyping budget, access to mentorship and support, and other resources to launch their business as one of six fellows of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)’s Next Top Makers program.

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San Jose - Building Pathways To Good-Paying Jobs In The Heart Of Silicon Valley

Overview

San Jose has been a bastion of high-tech manufacturing since the emergence of Silicon Valley, but the future of this industry is far from assured. To strengthen the sector and open up opportunities for a new generation of diverse workers, the City is using a silo-busting strategy that combines business support, workforce development, and land use preservation.

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Oakland’s Displacement Crisis: As Told by the Numbers

Overview

This brief highlights some of the challenges Oakland tenants are facing in the ongoing housing crisis, and some key policy steps that could provide much needed relief.

Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh (Summary)

Overview

Pittsburgh is on the rise. After decades of decline following the collapse of the steel industry, the region has successfully transformed its manufacturing economy into one driven by knowledge and technology. This resurgence brings great potential to deliver long-awaited jobs, economic opportunities, and neighborhood improvements to the region’s low-income communities and communities of color. However, the benefits of new growth and development will not automatically trickle down without a focus on equitable development. Produced by PolicyLink, along with Neighborhood Allies, and Urban Innovation21, this report presents a five-point agenda for realizing the vision of a new, “all-in” Pittsburgh, in which everyone can thrive, and highlights 16 specific recommendations for action. Download the full report.

Find other equity profiles here.

Advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development through Community Partnerships and Public Sector Leadership

Overview

This report spotlights four regional eTOD case studies and different approaches to support more inclusive growth. In Denver, a multi-sector coalition pioneered a new funding tool to acquire land near transit for equitable development. In Los Angeles, the transit agency has adopted bold new policies that commit its resources to ensuring affordable housing is developed on agency-owned real estate assets. In Minneapolis – Saint Paul, philanthropy stepped forward to strategically invest resources in a set of comprehensive community building efforts while also serving as an intermediary between public, private and community stakeholders. And in Seattle, the City is working to address workforce development and commercial stabilization among some of its most ethnically diverse transit-served communities.
 
Each of the four case studies provide lessons learned for other communities, including: 
  • Transit agencies can set the bar for equitable TOD.
  • Publicly-held land assets create powerful leverage point.
  • Make racial equity an explicit goal.
  • Measure impact to tell your story.
  • History and Culture Matter
  • Collaboration and patience pay off.
  • Transit is about more than just a line.

Integrating Family Financial Security into Cradle-to-Career Pipelines: Learning Lessons from Promise Neighborhoods

Overview

More than 14 million American children are caught in poverty’s grip, lacking academic, familial, and health supports to provide them a step up into the middle class.1 Mirroring the racial wealth gap, the majority of these children come from families of color who are unable to get ahead, resulting in inadequacies that inhibit the individual child’s potential, the potential of
their families, and that of their communities to contribute to, and benefit from, our growing economy.  Many would suggest that a strong emphasis on financial literacy could help families overcome this problem. However, research shows that financial education alone does very little to impact the financial health of low-income households. What is needed, experts say, is financial education that is tied to actual skill-building opportunities through the use of quality financial products. At PolicyLink, we agreed with that thinking and took it a step further. Since low-income communities across the country are facing many systemic barriers that entrench poverty, efforts to address financial insecurity will require an in-depth strategy that can work with youth and their families over time. The missing element became clear: a coalescing force to bridge these interventions and form effective, efficient, results-driven systems from cradle to career.Across the country, the federal Promise Neighborhoods program has been building the infrastructure necessary to achieve these goals, challenging and rebuilding inequitable systems so that all children and families can fully participate in and benefit from a just and fair society. That is why, with the generous support of the Citi Foundation, PolicyLink and the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) joined
forces with five of these communities to design and carry out strategies for embedding financial security into their pipelines of supports. The goal was to enhance theoverall outcomes of Promise Neighborhoods by empowering youth and their families to gain control over their financial lives and thus, their economic futures.

Integrating Family Financial Security into Cradle-to-Career Pipelines: Learning Lessons from Promise Neighborhoods

Overview

With support from Citi Foundation, PolicyLink and the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) joined forces with five PNI communities (Brooklyn, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chula Vista, California; Orlando, Florida; and Indianola, Mississippi) to design and carry out strategies for embedding financial security into their pipelines of supports. The collaborative effort set out to embed the concepts of budgeting, emergency savings, saving for college, credit access, into existing PNI programs. The goal was to enhance the overall outcomes of Promise Neighborhoods by empowering youth and their families to gain control over their financial lives and thus, their economic futures. This report documents the early lessons from each promise neighborhood site and highlights the importance of including a financial security strategy as an essential part of a cradle-to-career continuum.

Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh

Overview

Pittsburgh is on the rise. After decades of decline following the collapse of the steel industry, the region has successfully transformed its manufacturing economy into one driven by knowledge and technology. This resurgence brings great potential to deliver long-awaited jobs, economic opportunities, and neighborhood improvements to the region’s low-income communities and communities of color. However, the benefits of new growth and development will not automatically trickle down without a focus on equitable development. Produced by PolicyLink, along with Neighborhood Allies, and Urban Innovation21, this report presents a five-point agenda for realizing the vision of a new, “all-in” Pittsburgh, in which everyone can thrive, and highlights 16 specific recommendations for action. Download summary here.

Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in Cincinnati

Overview

As home to nine Fortune 500 companies, and new investment in neighborhoods such as Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati is poised for an economic renaissance. But not all residents are benefiting from this recovery. Persistent racial and gender inequities are preventing many residents, particularly women of color, from thriving. This profile illustrates how disparities in income, housing, educational attainment, and many other areas are costing the Cincinnati region billions of dollars in potential economic growth each year. In addition, the accompanying policy brief offers a series of recommendations designed to close some of these gaps. They were developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Interact for Health, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the profile, policy brief, and fact sheet, and see the press release.

Water, Health, and Equity

Overview

Water, Health and Equity explains why America’s water infrastructure is failing and describes the impacts of those failures on public health in low-income communities and communities of color. It proposes policy solutions, developed and advocated by the Clean Water for All coalition, which -- if implemented -- could create a national water infrastructure that works for everyone.

Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Economic Inclusion

Overview

Anchor institutions, such as colleges and universities, hospitals and health-care facilities, utilities, faith-based organizations and museums have a role to play in driving economic growth. This brief is an introduction to developing and implementing an anchor strategy that can advance equity and economic inclusion in order to promote regional prosperity. It provides actionable recommendations for federal Economic Resilience and Sustainable Communities grantees and their broad range of regional partners.

An Equity Profile of the Cape Fear Region

Overview

The Cape Fear region in North Carolina is experiencing a demographic transformation characterized by a diversifying younger population and a rapidly growing senior population that is predominantly White. To secure a thriving economy for the decades to come, the region must tap the economic potential of its growing young population. Building education and career pathways for all and ensuring young workers are prepared for the jobs of the future are key strategies for inclusive growth in the region. Download the summary.

Find other equity profiles here.

An Equity Profile of the Cape Fear Region (Summary)

Overview

The Cape Fear region in North Carolina is experiencing a demographic transformation characterized by a diversifying younger population and a rapidly growing senior population that is predominantly White. To secure a thriving economy for the decades to come, the region must tap the economic potential of its growing young population. Building education and career pathways for all and ensuring young workers are prepared for the jobs of the future are key strategies for inclusive growth in the region. Download the full profile.

Find other equity profiles here.

An Equity Profile of the Research Triangle Region

Overview

The Research Triangle Region has a long tradition of growth and change, as its research universities and technologically sophisticated businesses have served markets and attracted people from across the United States and around the world. From the city cores of Raleigh and Durham to small towns and rural areas throughout the region, the communities that make up the Research Triangle have a common goal of seeing that all its people have pathways to success. Download the summary.

Find other equity profiles here.

An Equity Profile of the Research Triangle Region (Summary)

Overview

The Research Triangle Region has a long tradition of growth and change, as its research universities and technologically sophisticated businesses have served markets and attracted people from across the United States and around the world. From the city cores of Raleigh and Durham to small towns and rural areas throughout the region, the communities that make up the Research Triangle have a common goal of seeing that all its people have pathways to success. Download the full profile.

Find other equity profiles here.

Values, Leadership, and Sustainability: Institutionalizing Community-Centered Policing - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

This brief, the fourth and final in the Beyond Confrontation Series, examines how leadership can build the values and institutional culture necessary to implement and sustain community-centered policing. The brief also highlights workforce management, information sharing, and accountability practices that integrate community policing into law enforcement agency operations over the long term. (2015)

A Roadmap Toward Equity: Housing Solutions for Oakland, California

Overview

Oakland, California, faces a serious shortage of affordable housing. Commissioned by the Oakland City Council, A Roadmap Toward Equity analyzes the depth of the problem and presents more than a dozen policy solutions for preventing displacement, increasing the stock of affordable housing, and improving housing habitability for all Oakland residents.

Local Food Procurement - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

Provides an overview of how stakeholders can advocate for and implement local food procurement policies in an equitable manner. (2015)

Turning Back the Tide: Promising Efforts to Demilitarize Police Departments - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

This brief, the third in the Beyond Confrontation Series, explores the stark landscape of pervasive police militarization, and lifts up early examples of communities fighting to reverse the tide of militarization and restore a focus on community to local and state police departments. (2015)

Engaging Communities as Partners: Strategies for Problem Solving - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

This brief, the second in the Beyond Confrontation Series, lifts up examples from across the country where communities and police have begun demonstrating how to collaborate and build working relationships that increase safety, decrease arrests and police violence, and improve the well-being of community members. (2015)

Limiting Police Use of Force: Promising Community- Centered Strategies - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

This brief, the first in the Beyond Confrontation Series, lifts up proven practices, as well as less tested but innovative and thoughtful efforts to address the use of force. It provides information to help communities better understand what standards guide the use of police force, how that force is applied across the country, and what strategies exist to minimize these acts of aggression. (2015)

Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing - Equitable Development Toolkit

Overview

Communities across the country that have lived for too long under the weight of discriminatory policing and mass incarceration are calling for a transformation of our policing and criminal justice systems. They are making it clear that it is time for policies to first and foremost reflect the concerns and solutions of communities most affected by flawed policing practices. The toolkit elevates 15 recommended policy reforms and showcases best practices, successful organizing efforts, and model legislation from across the country. (2015)

An Equity Profile of the San Francisco Bay Area Region

Overview

The Bay Area is booming, but a rising tide economy is not lifting up its low-income communities and communities of color. As communities of color continue to drive growth and change in the region, addressing wide racial inequities and ensuring people of color can fully participate as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators is an urgent priority. Our analysis finds that the regional economy could have been $117 billion stronger in 2012 had its racial gaps in income and employment. This profile, produced for The San Francisco Foundation, describes the region’s demographic transformation and performance on a series of equity indicators. Download summary here.

An Equity Profile of the San Francisco Bay Area Region (Summary)

Overview

The Bay Area is booming, but a rising tide economy is not lifting up its low-income communities and communities of color. As communities of color continue to drive growth and change in the region, addressing wide racial inequities and ensuring people of color can fully participate as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators is an urgent priority. Our analysis finds that the regional economy could have been $117 billion stronger in 2012 had its racial gaps in income and employment. This profile, produced for The San Francisco Foundation, describes the region’s demographic transformation and performance on a series of equity indicators. Download the full report.

Find other equity profiles here.

A Developmental Pathway for Achieving Promise Neighborhoods Results

Overview

This important tool was developed to help Promise Neighborhood communities and the field at large better understand the external conditions and developmental milestones that are needed to build the cradle to career continuum and to achieve the goals/outcomes set forth in Promise Neighborhoods. The tool illustrates the developmental pathways necessary to achieve the Promise Neighborhoods vision.

Strategies for Strengthening Anchor Institutions’ Community Impact

Overview

Anchor institutions are large, place-based organizations, often public or nonprofit, that exist as core fixtures in local communities. This brief provides promising examples where anchor institutions have engaged in activities to advance economic inclusion, promote access to employment, and otherwise improve the circumstances faced by boys and men of color. It draws on a scan of national best practices originally developed for the City of New Orleans.

Strategies for Health-Care Workforce Development

Overview

This brief identifies a number of promising programs and practices in the health-care sector that promotes access to economic opportunities for people of color and other individuals facing barriers to opportunity. It draws on a scan of national best practices originally developed for the City of New Orleans.

Strategies for Wraparound Services for African American Men Seeking Employment

Overview

This brief presents promising practices for wrapping young men of color in supports such as pre-employment services, transitional jobs, and job placement services. It draws on a scan of national best practices originally developed for the City of New Orleans.

Strategies for Addressing Equity in Infrastructure and Public Works

Overview

This brief presents case studies and promising practices for connecting hard-to-employ job seekers, men of color, and low-income residents to temporary and permanent job opportunities in the infrastructure sector. Featured are targeted first-source hiring and contracting programs implemented through community workforce agreements (CWAs), community benefit agreements (CBAs), and/or project labor agreements (PLAs). The document draws on a scan of national best practices originally developed for the City of New Orleans.

Key Strategies to Advance Equitable Growth in Regions

Overview

Achieving equitable growth in cities and regions will require a new set of tools, innovative leveraging of resources, and unprecedented levels of collaboration. This report draws from the work already underway in more than 40 cities and regions to connect low-income people and communities of color to the economic mainstream. It lifts up strategies concentrated in seven areas, all helping communities to plan for equitable growth, remove employment barriers, grow good jobs, and strengthen the education pipeline.

Regional Planning for Health Equity

Overview

This brief introduces strategies for planning for health equity at a regional scale and summarizes the movement for building healthy communities. It draws from the experiences of regional equity coalitions and metropolitan planning organizations to identify five important conditions that must be met to achieve effective results.

All-In Cities: Building an Equitable Economy from the Ground Up

Overview

As cities come back, leaders must bake equity and inclusion into their growth strategies. This framing paper for the All-In Cities initiative, released at the 2015 Equity Summit in Los Angeles, shares cross-cutting practices and an eight-point policy framework to build equitable, thriving cities. See the report here.

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