Yet, across the US, the housing system perpetuates persistent barriers, particularly for households of color. While there is a framework for publicly supported affordable housing redevelopment (e.g., via public housing, low-income tax credits, other public-private partnerships) in place, the broken system continues to perpetuate the harm. The conventional paradigm of housing redevelopment in this country— notably measured primarily by quantity rather than quality of housing units— normalizes the hidden social costs by simply doing more of the same. Without alternatives to “more and better housing,” we’ll just help the poor be poor “better,” and maintain poverty as a cruel inheritance, passed down through generations.
The Social Impact Protocol (SIP) seeks to disrupt the system of normalized harm by providing a baseline assessment tool for equitable housing redevelopment and a guide to hold such efforts accountable to their stated mission, vision, and ethics commitments. We have designed it to be a market-oriented and metrics-based protocol that reorients planning and decision-making in the redevelopment process in ways that disrupt existing power dynamics by sharing power and redistributing resources and create projects that go beyond built form to support reparative community development. After several years a research and development (funded initially through the Surdna Foundation), the SIP will launch in the next year.
(My work on this project was also funded in part through a LISC Rubinger Fellowship.)