PROJECTCapital for Communities Scorecard User Guide

  • Project Home
  • Why We Created the Scorecard
  • How the Scorecard Can Be Used
  • How the Scorecard Is Organized
  • What You Need to Get Started
  • Interpreting and Applying Results
  • Beta Testing the Opportunity Zone Community Impact Assessment Tool
  • Creating the Scorecard

  • How the Scorecard Is Organized

    The tool has eight sections

    • A general information section, where users enter information related to the proposed project.
    • A community goals and priorities section, where users answer questions about efforts to involve the community in the design of the project and rank the community’s priorities as they understand them.
    • Six impact area sections, where users respond to questions about features of the project related to the following topics: accessible, high-quality jobs; community wealth building; affordable and accessible housing; environment and open spaces; health, social services, and cultural amenities; and transportation and connectivity.

    We developed these six impact areas after consultation with local leaders and a review of existing social impact assessment tools, as described in the appendix. Tool users answer questions in each impact area, with some differences in the questions depending on the project type. Users can choose between residential, commercial, and industrial projects and operating businesses, or they can choose a combination of types for mixed-use projects. For residential projects, users must also select whether the housing being developed is primarily for sale or for rent, and they will get a set of questions relevant to that housing type.

    A crucial component of the tool is the second section: community goals and priorities. In this section, the tool asks project sponsors to describe how they engaged community residents and the local plans they consulted in designing the project. Based on this engagement and consultation, they are then asked to rank the six impact areas according to their understanding of community priorities.

    The tool includes questions throughout aimed at addressing racial disparities in access to jobs, housing, amenities, and participatory planning. For example, in the jobs section, we ask whether the project sponsor has a history of providing jobs for populations facing employment barriers on previous projects and whether hiring guidelines reduce barriers for these same populations to apply and get hired. In the wealth-building section, we ask whether a project is more than 50 percent owned by people from historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups and whether more than 30 percent of a project’s contracts or sourcing qualify under existing minority business enterprise standards. And in the housing section, we ask whether newly built rental or owner-occupied units have long-term or permanent affordability restrictions.

    At the end of the tool, users receive a printable scorecard that includes an overall score weighted by the community priorities ranking, a graphic illustrating the unweighted scores by impact area, guidance on interpreting scores, and responses to all required questions. The tool also allows users to provide narrative responses when doing so would help validate a response to a required question or elaborate on how a project might deliver social impact beyond what is covered by the required questions. These optional responses appear in the scorecard, but they do not count toward the project’s score.

    Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
    Tags Capital flows Community and economic development Community development finance and CDFIs Equitable development Impact investing Inclusive recovery Neighborhood change Racial and ethnic disparities Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development
    Policy Centers Research to Action Lab Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center