COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that demands a sharp departure from business as usual.

COVID-19 has devastated urban communities and economies and exposed deep structural inequities, reflected in the disparate scale of lives, jobs, and homes lost and the greater risk of eviction and long-term economic insecurity among communities of color and other marginalized people. Simply restoring a pre-pandemic reality is not acceptable. Just and resilient recovery planning must address the historic injustices that predate this crisis, while meeting emergency needs and preparing communities for the next crisis.

We are working with governments, communities, advocates, and philanthropy in real time to shape and execute a Just & Resilient Recovery.

 

Read more about our Just & Resilient Recovery framework.

 

Explore examples of how we’ve supported recovery so far.

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A Just & Resilient Response

We’re developing new approaches and tools to help frontline urban leaders navigate extraordinary uncertainty.

Areas of Focus

As enhanced unemployment benefits and eviction moratoria burn off, millions of renters are at risk of eviction. We’re working with localities including New Haven, Wake County (NC), and Newark to extend eviction bans and legal aid, create lease workout models to keep renters in their homes, and explore longer-term affordable housing and tenant protection strategies that address the persistent vulnerability of low-income renters.

Read more about our work to prevent evictions in New Haven from HR&A Partner Phillip Kash here.

Small businesses and neighborhood corridors are facing their worst crisis in modern history, but the truth is many were already struggling before the pandemic. We are working with governments such as New York’s and Fairfax County’s to keep businesses solvent during the worst of the crisis and, in the longer term, address underlying stresses to improve small business and corridor health, broaden opportunity to start businesses especially among underrepresented groups, and empower workers and communities to capture a greater share of economic value.

Read more about the importance of data to retail corridor recovery here and about frontline strategies to support small business recovery here.

The pandemic has laid bare gross disparities in our workforce, as those unable to work from home – who are more likely to be female, nonwhite, and low-wage – face either unemployment or the health risks associated with in-person work. We are working with foundations, governments, and the private sector to create more resilient local economies through stronger worker safety nets, enhanced skills training and equitable recruitment practices, and investments in digital infrastructure.

Read more about the need for increased digital adoption from HR&A Partner Kate Wittels here.

Every recovery decision made by those in power will have winners and losers, and communities must act now or risk being left out. We help community leaders and advocacy organizations – from Pittsburgh’s Economic Justice Circle to the national philanthropy Blue Meridian Partners – understand who holds the levers of recovery, how recovery decisions are made, and how best to influence decision-making and, therefore, the future of our cities.

Read more about our approach from HR&A Partner Andrea Batista Schlesinger here.

A seismic shift is required for economic development to contribute to ending systemic racism and economic inequality rather than continuing to perpetuate it. We are working with cities, regional organizations, innovation districts, and foundations to revisit past strategic plans, reengage communities, and commit to new goals, approaches, incentives, and organizational structures that embrace racial and economic equity and shared prosperity as core principles.

Read more about our approach from HR&A Partner Cary Hirschstein here, about our work studying the potential benefits of public banking here, and about the role of innovation districts in recovery here.

Understanding which populations, industries, and tax streams are most at risk is essential for fiscally constrained states and municipalities that need to target scarce resources equitably and efficiently. We are working with Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York and Panama City in Florida to take a more nuances approach to economic impact assessment and fiscal projections to set priorities and guide decision-making in the months and years ahead.

Read more about our approach and our work with County leaders on Long Island from HR&A Partner Shuprotim Bhaumik here.

Local governments, transit systems, park organizations, community-based nonprofits, and other institutions essential to our cities need to fundamentally rethink how they derive revenue. Building on years of experience developing innovative financing and operating strategies, we are working with governments and a range of urban organizations to access and plan for stimulus funds, rethink tax policies, and develop new partnerships that help close gaps and promote long-term financial resilience.

Read more about our insights into the future funding of parks and open space from HR&A Vice Chair Candace Damonhere and about funding strategies for transit systems from __________________ here.

OUR WORK SO FAR

Measuring the Scale of Economic Impacts

Long Island

For Nassau and Suffolk Counties…

Developing a Just Recovery Guide for Local Governments (with Ford Foundation)

Nationwide

HR&A partnered with the Ford Foundation to create a guide for local leaders looking to build a Just & Resilient Recovery.

Updating Citywide Resilience Plan for Recovery

Houston, TX

Updating the Resilient Houston plan to include COVID…

Are you looking to ____________? Email us.