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Contracting with the Community




Brittany Hutson


Local government agencies often say they find it difficult to identify and reach marginalized populations and gain their trust or time to contribute to a planning process.

During a typical municipal planning process, those agencies often hire an outside consultant to conduct community outreach and incorporate that feedback in a final report.

However, consultants from outside of the community tend to lack the historical context of the area as well as the kinds of relationships that are only built with trust.

As a result, relying on them risks eliminating the perspective of a broad subset of community members, often people of color.

Without the expertise and true lived experience of all residents informing the outcomes, plans are often based on skewed narratives that in turn accelerate inequitable housing practices.

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