2020 Policy Priority: Community Economic Development

At BLDG Memphis, the Community Economic Development working group acts to build equitable community development strategies and encourage increased economic opportunities for neighborhoods. The working group also advocates for increased transparency and accountability, greater inclusion of the community development sector, and more place-based approaches for public programs, such as payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) and tax increment financing (TIF) districts.

Over the next year we hope to accomplish the following goals:

  • Evaluate the formal roles of community development and other neighborhood-based organizations in the process of awarding PILOTs through the issuing agencies.

  • Advocate that location along existing transit routes be included in the evaluation of PILOT applications to better connect workers with jobs and housing.

  • Support the strategic use of community based TIFs through the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency to leverage rising values in certain sub-markets for community investment.

  • Explore tools that support equitable development benefiting existing residents and local businesses, such as community benefits agreements (CBAs), community land trusts (CLTs), alternative property tax structures for affordable development, and density bonuses to incentivize greater percentages of affordable units and deeper affordability targets.

  • Explore the creation of a community development tax credit program that would offer tax incentives to for-profit entities making direct investments in nonprofit community development organizations.

  • Support the creation of state legislation to curb predatory lending practices by limiting interest rates, effectively regulating title and payday lenders, and encouraging financial tools that facilitate wealth building in low-income communities.

Visit our website to learn more about BLDG Memphis and see how you can get involved

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