BLDG Memphis 2020 Public Policy Priorities

BLDG Memphis’ top priorities in policy, advocacy, and community development include accelerating the redevelopment of vacant and abandoned properties, increasing resources to support the revitalization of Memphis neighborhoods, and promoting public policy that will guide equitable infrastructure investments and increase the livability of neighborhoods.

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of the 2020 BLDG Memphis Public Policy Priorities.

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Affordable Housing

The Affordable Housing working group supports the equitable revitalization of the Memphis housing market.

  • Increase resources for and eliminate barriers to solving the quality affordable housing supply/demand gap through tools for acquisition, development, and maintenance of affordable units.
  • Improve governing systems and enact policies that hold property owners and private management accountable for their properties while supporting and protecting the rights and livability of renters.Community Economic Development
  • Encourage equitable access to fair housing opportunities through home repair and weatherization programs, increased housing and financial counseling, and the creation of a “one stop shop” for individuals and families to access information, apply, and be referred for services.

Community Economic Development 

The Community Economic Development working group acts to build equitable, place-based community development strategies and encourage increased economic opportunities for neighborhoods.

  • Advocate 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.
  • Explore tools that support equitable development benefitting 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.
  • Support lending structures and legislative action that curb predatory lending, increase access to capital, and foster greater financial stability for residents and neighborhood-based organizations.

Neighborhoods & Local Government

The Neighborhood & Local Governments working group focuses on policies and legislative issues that strengthen relations between neighborhood leaders and public agencies, address resource gaps, and empower residents to build the capacity of community based organizations.

  • Support the creation of a consolidated local public agency that is tasked with maintaining communications, engagement, and transparency with a broad spectrum of community-based organizations and associations, and that serves as a single point of entry for those organizations seeking resources or partnership with city government.
  • Advocate for tools that promote community engagement in public decision-making processes, such as a more accessible, searchable system to track specific city and county legislation and a revised public notice and engagement plan based on the recommendations of Memphis 3.0.
  • Advocate for increased involvement of neighborhood leaders and the community development sector in goal setting and allocation of resources for programs such as Memphis 3.0 Small Area Plans, Community Catalyst Fund, and grant programs that support the work of neighborhood-based organizations. 

Reuse & Revitalization of Vacant Property

The Reuse & Revitalization working group helps to ensure all blight remediation investments that are made within neighborhoods by any governing entity are created and enforced with the needs of the Memphis neighborhoods in mind. This body works to create incentives to reward efforts that encourage continued or new developments in areas that have historically experienced neglect.

  • Advocate for the consolidation of Adopt-a-Block, -Median, and -Park programs under Memphis City Beautiful and for additional financial resources and staffing for the agency to ensure full and effective implementation.
  • Advocate for the involvement of community-based organizations and residents in the design and delivery of programs that address nuisance properties and the activation and care of vacant land, such as UrbanArt Commission’s Blight Out initiative. 
  • Ensure that tools for addressing vacant properties, such as land banking, receivership, and demolition listings, are clearly defined, employed consistently, and accessible to CDCs and other community-based organizations.

Transportation & Mobility

The Transportation & Safety working group convenes stakeholders in various transportation and public space-oriented efforts to work collaboratively on policy items, raise awareness through advocacy, and hold decision-makers accountable in providing equitable access and mobility.

  • Support the realignment of existing funding and the development of new revenue streams for the implementation of the Memphis 3.0 Transit Vision and the Memphis Pedestrian and School Safety Action Plan.
  • Ensure that revenue generated under the Shared Use Mobility Ordinance is used as promoted - to ensure compliance with the ordinance by shared mobility providers, speed the implementation of Complete Streets infrastructure, and improve safety measures for everyone using Memphis roads.
  • Advocate for the implementation of policies and best practices identified in Memphis 3.0 for mobility, access, and safety, such as creating a goal for zero traffic deaths and promoting equitable transit-oriented development and traffic demand management practices.
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