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BSA News

May 08, 2023

BSA Hosts Signing Of Regional Compact Promoting DEI In Real Estate Development

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Today, the BSA, in partnership with the Builders of Color Coalition (BCC), the Civic Action Project (CAP), and the Eastern Bank Foundation, hosted mayors and leaders from the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Lynn, Salem and Somerville who signed the CommonWealth Development Compact—making a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in real estate development. The mayors and leaders were joined by Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll in the signing of this pilot compact. Read more here.

This compact is designed to build economic opportunity for minority and women-owned firms who have historically been vastly underrepresented in private real estate development in Massachusetts. By signing the compact, the mayors committed to implementing DEI policies for 25 percent of the public real estate development projects within their municipalities, as well as new DEI considerations in private real estate projects.

The Commonwealth Development Compact commits its signatories to these four initiatives:

  • For the development or other disposition of municipal-owned properties, use its best efforts to require that a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan shall comprise 25% of the comparative evaluation of each proposal submitted.
  • Request that all projects requiring a special permit, variance or other zoning relief, within thresholds to be determined by the individual municipalities, to include a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan Disclosure.
  • During discussions with developers and other stakeholders, public officials and city agencies actively promote the City's interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion by explicitly including DEI-related community benefits in the list of priorities that municipalities expect to be addressed in developers' proposals.
  • Discuss the findings and experiences of implementing these policies and share feedback with the municipalities and Compact staff.

Since 2019, the BSA has championed integrating DEI policies into the real estate development process. The BSA has hosted workshops to convene members, policymakers, developers, and others who contributed to the development of this compact.

The compact is just one example of the work the BSA is undertaking to promote equity within the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) community in the region. Through its Innovation work, the BSA catalyzes and collaborates on innovation initiatives aimed at addressing equity and sustainability challenges in the built environment.

If you have questions, please reach out to Jennifer Effron at [email protected].