Community Benefits Resources - Links of Interest
What are community benefits?
“Community benefits” is a way of leveraging dollars already being spent - by either the private or public sector - to bring wider social, economic, and other benefits to communities. Benefits often include job training, apprenticeships and hiring targeted to traditionally disadvantaged communities, and opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses or social enterprises. But they can include many other things, depending on the needs and aspirations of the local community, from affordable housing to environmental initiatives, scholarships, and public realm improvements.
Community benefits can be advanced through contracts via Community Benefit Agreements; through public procurement; or by large, publically funded institutions, sometimes called "anchor institutions".
This page, while not comprehensive, highlights reports, policies, and precedents of interest from Canada and around the world. For a quick introduction, you can check out my FAQs.
Community Benefits in Canada
Graser, D. and Leanage, N. Realizing Social and Economic Objectives through Infrastructure Planning and Investment (Evergreen, 2017)
Graser, D. Community Benefits in Practice and in Policy: Lessons from the U.S. and the U.K. (Atkinson Foundation, 2016)
Graser, D. Community Benefits and Tower Renewal (Evergreen, 2016)
Hanff, B. Bringing Community Benefits to Tower Neighbourhoods (2016)
Dragicevic, N. Anchor Institutions (Mowat Centre, 2015)
Galley, A. Community Benefits Agreements (Mowat Centre, 2015)
Yalnizyan, A. Community Benefits Agreements: Empowering Communities to Maximize Returns on Public Infrastructure Investments (IFSID, 2017)
Metrolinx Community Benefits Framework and Program
Buy Social Canada - social purchasing links and documents
City of Toronto CBA with One Toronto Gaming for Rexdale-Woodbine Casino
Canadian Legislation and Policies of Interest (selected)
Government of Canada, Community Employment Benefits program
Dragicevic, N. and Ditta, S. Community Benefits and Social Procurement Policies: A Jurisdictional Review (Mowat Centre, 2016)
Ontario's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan (Chapter 3)
Quebec Social Economy Act
British Columbia Social Purchasing Guidelines
Nova Scotia Sustainable Procurement Policy
City of Vancouver Community Benefits Policy
York University Social Procurement Policy
Community Benefits in the United States
Good information is available from community-based advocacy organizations who have succeeded in negotiating CBAS, including the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)
Julian Gross is the attorney who has negotiated the majority of CBAs in the US and has written a number of major papers on legal issues with CBAs. His website has a wealth of useful information.
Community Benefits in UK, Europe and Australia
Reports of interest (selected):
Richard MacFarlane, R. (2014) Tackling Poverty Through Public Procurement (Rowntree Foundation)
MacFarlane, R, & Cook, M. (2002) Achieving Community Benefits Through Contracts: Law, Policy & Practice (Rowntree Foundation)
European Commission (2016), Social Enterprises and the Social Economy Going Forward
Government of Victoria (2010), Social Procurement: A Guide for Victorian Local Government
National legislation and policies:
Public Services (Social Value) Act, 2013 (UK)
Buy Social: Integrating Social Benefits into Public Contracts (Northern Ireland)
For more information about the UK, check out the websites of Richard Macfarlane, who has worked with numerous governments to craft community benefits approaches, and CEIS, which specializes in supporting the social enterprise sector in Scotland.