Social Impact Protocol

2017 -

Your home. Your neighborhood. These should be places that support your capacity to thrive, not
intensify the struggle to survive. 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 as a pilot in six cities across the US in partnership with LISC. (My work on this project is also funded in part through a LISC Rubinger Fellowship.)