PUBLIC INPUT WANTED: ‘Choice Neighborhood’ Community Benefits Agreement

What is a CBA and why does McKees Rocks need one?

A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), according to LISC, “is a contract between a developer and community-based organizations representing residents’ interests. The agreement spells out the benefits the community will receive in return for supporting the developer’s project in their neighborhood. CBAs often include benefits such as guaranteed minimums for local hiring, the inclusion of affordable units in new housing, and the development or improvement of parks or community facilities. These agreements can help ensure more equitable development, enabling existing residents to benefit from new activity and opportunities in neighborhoods threatened by gentrification and displacement.” 

In November 2021, a $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant was awarded to the Allegheny County Housing Authority to use in the creation of a plan to revitalize Hays Manor and the surrounding community.

According to HUD: “The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with severely distressed public housing and/or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and other stakeholders, such as public housing agencies, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood.  

To this end, Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

Housing: Replace severely distressed public and HUD-assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;

People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to income and employment, health, and education; and

Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.

To achieve these core goals, successful applicants must develop a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or “Transformation Plan.”  This Transformation Plan becomes the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or HUD-assisted housing units, while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and creating positive outcomes for families.”

The following questionnaire relates to the Community Benefits Agreement being brokered with the Allegheny County Housing Authority. We have broken the Draft CBA into sections to allow for your comment or feedback on each topic. 

View the CBA Document and Provide Feedback: