About the Toolkit

Equitable development is an approach to creating healthy, vibrant, communities of opportunity. Equitable outcomes come about when smart, intentional strategies are put in place to ensure that everyone can participate in and benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods and regions.

This online toolkit -- referred to as EDTK -- includes 27 tools to reverse patterns of segregation and disinvestment, prevent displacement, and promote equitable revitalization. Click below to view all tools or by issue area.

Affordable Housing
Ensure access to good jobs and opportunities to save and build assets to increase community health and stability.

Economic Opportunity
Strong, vibrant neighborhoods provide a diverse mix of housing options. Use these strategies to ensure that existing residents can stay as neighborhood markets revive and to stabilize distressed neighborhoods.

Health Equity and Place
Where you live, work, and play has a major impact on health — and living in a distressed neighborhood contributes to health inequities. Implement these tools to reduce environmental risk and build health-promoting neighborhoods.

Land Use and Environment
Land use planning drives public and private development decisions, both in housing and commercial markets. These strategies ensure that new development meets residents' needs and creates healthy community environments. 

All Tools

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    Access to Healthy Food

    Focuses on four tools -- Grocery Store Dev., Corner Stores, Farmers Markets, and Urban Ag. and Community Gardens -- that help increase access to healthy, fresh, affordable food. (Created January 2010)

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    Affordable Housing Development 101

    This umbrella tool introduces advocates to affordable housing strategies and helps them match their goals with appropriate tools. (Created January 2007)

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    Encourages redevelopment of brownfields -- abandoned, idled, or underutilized commercial or industrial sites. (Created July 2007)

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    CDCs with Resident Shareholders

    Offers low-income residents the opportunity to own equity in real estate projects spearheaded by CDCs. (Created November 2001)

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    Code Enforcement

    Can be an important tool for protecting tenants. (Created March 2002)

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    Commercial Linkage Strategies

    A range of programs and fees that tie economic development to the construction of affordable housing. (Created July 2002)

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    Commercial Stabilization

    Techniques employed by organizations to preserve cultural organizations and longstanding commercial enterprises that define the historic character of communities. (Created July 2002)

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    Community Land Trusts

    This alternative property ownership model encourages permanent affordability and wealth-building. (Created June 2001)

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    Community Mapping

    Mapping can be used to advocate for community benefits, convey development opportunities, track vacant properties, and more. (Created April 2001)

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    Community Reinvestment Act

    Congressional mandate that financial institutions help meet credit needs of the communities in which they operate. (Created November 2001)

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    Cooperative Ownership Models

    Co-op models targeted to low- income residents can offer financial benefits and experience in running a democratically- controlled enterprise. (Created February 2002)

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    Corner Stores

    Offers residents, policymakers, business leaders, and advocates ideas and strategies for improving small stores in underserved communities. (Created May 2010)

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    Developers Exactions

    Requires new commercial developments to contribute fees to the development of affordable housing, community services and infrastructure. (Created February 2002)

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    Employer-Assisted Housing

    Most EAH programs provides rental assistance or increases the housing in the surrounding community for an employer's workers. (Created October 2007)

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    Farmers Market

    Details the challenges associated with starting and sustaining farmers' markets in low-income communities of color. (Created 2010)

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    Foreclosed Properties

    Use this tool to steer neighborhoods back to sustainable recovery after foreclosure processes are well underway. (Created July 2009)

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    Grocery Stores

    Highlights a number of innovative strategies to help address the food access challenges and provides guidance for attracting fresh food retail into underserved communities.  (Created 2010)

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    Housing Trust Funds

    Public funds, established by legislation, ordinance or resolution, to receive specific revenues dedicated to affordable housing development. (Created June 2001)

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    Inclusionary Zoning

    Land use regulation mandating a percentage (usually 15-20%) of the housing units in all larger projects be affordable to people of low and moderate incomes. (Created 2003) 

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    Infill Incentives

    Infill incentives can produce new housing units, reduce blight, preserve open space, reduce traffic, and encourage retail development that serves the needs of existing residents. (Created March 2002)

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    Just Cause Eviction Controls

    Implement these laws to protect renters against being unfairly evicted by landlords who want to capitalize on the rental/housing market. (Created March 2002)

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    Living Wage Provisions

    Ordinances that ensure the employees of public/private contractors receiving public sector funding, and public employees are paid wages at pace with regional cost of living measures. (Created December 2001)

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    Local Food Procurement

    How and from whom food is purchased by an organization and institution (Created 2015)

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    Minority Contracting

    Ensures that healthy local businesses owned by people of color are a basic component of strong, sustainable communities. (Created August 2002)

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    Real Estate Transfer Taxes

    Techniques through which tax regulations can limit two destabilizing practices in low- and moderate-income communities: delinquency and speculation. (Created January 2003)

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    Rent Control

    Protections to slow the pace of rapidly escalating rental prices. (Created December 2001)

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    Resident-Owned CDFIs

    Resident-owned community financial institutions build assets for low-income residents. (Created February 2002)

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    Transit Oriented Development

    How to implement TOD -- mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented communities located around public transit stations -- in a way that achieves equity goals. (Created April 2008)