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Preventing displacement, maximizing community benefits of the Blue Line Extension

Partners seeking proposals to lead anti-displacement workgroup

Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council are seeking proposals for an individual or organization to lead a new Anti-displacement Workgroup for the Blue Line Extension project.

This group will center community voices and bring together diverse partners and stakeholders to develop robust anti-displacement strategies for implementation with the goals to reduce racial disparities; help ensure the value of the Blue Line Extension project benefits corridor residents; and minimize physical, cultural, and economic displacement.

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The Blue Line Extension Light Rail Transit project will bring fast, frequent, all-day service to communities from Target Field Station northwest to North Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park. This new light rail investment will connect people to jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunities. It can also drive investment and advance neighborhood visions for community and economic development. These opportunities can invigorate neighborhoods and allow area residents and businesses to build wealth in place. They can also contribute to concerns of displacement.

During our engagement efforts, community partners highlighted the potential for displacement as a top priority as planning for the Blue Line Extension continues. Project partners have heard and share this concern.

Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council recognize displacement pressures directly related to light rail projects can begin well before the line is even under construction and are committed to working with a shared sense of urgency to address these concerns quickly and strategically.

Local and national studies show light rail investments can increase demand for property near light rail corridors, and drive community and economic development investments. A recent report from Metro Transit found:

  • 35% of recent regional development has occurred along high frequency transit corridors.
  • $9.2 billion in development has been permitted within one-half mile of existing and planned LRT stations.
  • Another $5.6 billion in development is planned near LRT stations.

Through strategic community-oriented planning, engagement, and thoughtful anti-displacement actions, these investments can improve the quality of life for area residents, businesses, and visitors.

Implementing robust anti-displacement strategies and maximizing community benefits of the Blue Line Extension is fundamental to the success of the project and will take time, trust, and collaboration from a wide variety of agency and community partners, including: cities, developers, Hennepin County, Metropolitan Council, community leaders, business leaders, philanthropy, nonprofits, and more.

To advance this work, BLRT partners released a request for proposals for an individual or organization to convene and coordinate work of an anti-displacement workgroup.

Purpose

The purpose of the Anti-Displacement Workgroup is to provide the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County, corridor cities, agency partners and community partners with:

  • An understanding of existing community assets, communities at risk of displacement in the corridor, and existing policy/programmatic resources already available to guide the strategic recommendations of the Anti-Displacement Working Group
  • Implementable recommendations that serve to prevent multiple forms of displacement and promote equitable development, during the construction phase of the project and beyond; and
  • Implementable strategies that will provide opportunities for existing corridor residents and businesses to build wealth in place

The work will prioritize racial equity — ensuring that reducing racial disparities in the region is at the forefront of each of the recommendations of the Anti-Displacement Working Group.

Consultant role

The selected consultant will be responsible for convening, facilitating, and managing the work plan of the Anti-Displacement Working Group. The consultant will be responsible for a number of key deliverables.

Project management

This will include a workplan with timeline, milestones and scope, and monthly status reports and regular meeting summaries.

Anti-displacement workgroup facilitation

This will include an Anti-Displacement Working Group work plan defining goals, group principles, membership process and charter; Anti-Displacement Working Group development process and list of members; and Project definitions including the types of displacement and gentrification the group will consider. Meeting summaries and status reports will help document the work of this group and create transparency to community and stakeholders.

Market analysis and vulnerability assessment

This will include a summary of community assets and those at risk of displacement, and a list of metrics that measure the baseline, scale of potential displacement, and the success of anti-displacement strategies.

Policy audit and case study review

This process documents the evaluation of existing policies and relevant case studies of anti-displacement programs.

Community consultation summary

Provide information on how broader community input is gathered and the results of community consultation efforts.

Recommendations and implementation plan

The plan identifies the responsible agency, implementation timeline, scale of impact, recommended funding, baseline measurements, metrics for success, and targets for each policy recommendation.

Material development

Materials must be social media compliant, ADA compliant, web-ready, and translated into four languages.

Timeline

  • July 1: Request for proposals published by Hennepin County
  • July 12: Pre-bid meeting (view video recording (YouTube))
  • July 27: Proposals due
  • July 29-30: Proposal evaluation and decision
  • August 17: Hennepin County Board approval
  • August 26: Final contract execution
  • Early September: Consultant onboarding and work begins

Dates are subject to change.

Apply

All proposals must be submitted through the Hennepin County Supplier Portal.

To learn more about the supplier portal, register, review the full RFP, and submit a proposal, please visit the Supplier Portal web page.

Because this is an open competitive Request for Proposals, all questions must be submitted in writing according to directions in the RFP document available on the Supplier Portal as noted above.

All questions and answers will be published for all applicants to review to ensure a fair and equitable application process.

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