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What are Community

Benefits Agreements?

Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are contracts signed by community groups and a developer that require the developer to provide a range of specific community benefits related to a proposed development project. In exchange, community groups agree to support the project

With each new agreement signed, CBAs are becoming a more common and essential tool in the equitable development toolbox. When created and executed according to key principles, they are a powerful driver for strengthening neighborhoods, increasing community engagement, and creating equitable communities.

What are essential parts of a strong Community Benefits Agreement?

Many types of CBAs exist across the country, some more successful than others. There are three key principles that most effective and accountable CBAs have in common. Any community considering an agreement should make sure they incorporate these three principles into the CBA process and final document:


  1. Community representation leading the negotiating process.

  2. Mutual benefits for the neighborhood, region, and developer.

  3. Legally binding agreements that are enforceable by the community.

All stakeholders should prioritize transparency, racial equity, and inclusive development practices throughout the CBA process, including negotiation, selection of benefits, and the final CBA contract.

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