Structural inequities and racism are at the root of our region’s housing crisis. RCD works to address these historical inequalities and support the sustainability of our communities by creating and preserving affordable homes.
We prioritize equity in all aspects of our work. We provide on-site social services that connect residents to programs, we engage with community residents in the design and planning of new developments, and we expand resources in low-income neighborhoods through our properties. In our current and future buildings, we are creating expanded opportunities for BIPOC, women-owned businesses and non-profit organizations. When planning a new development, we are focused on creating spaces that can support small entrepreneurs and connecting with non-profit organizations dedicated to the health and the vitality of their communities.
Our staff DEI Committee, formed in 2022 after the 2018-2022 DEI plan concluded, is advancing our ongoing efforts with a focus on continuing to build RCD’s capacity to be a more equitable, welcoming, and inclusive organization. The cross-functional committee provides a forum for learning and building an inclusive culture at RCD.
We are committed to engaging residents and community members as active stakeholders, contributors, and decision-makers that shape the organization, our programs, and our investments in housing and community spaces.
In 2023, our Board is strengthening our resident and community voices within RCD’s governance by committing to recruiting new members who are RCD residents and/or have lived experience with affordable housing. Our Real Estate Development and Resident Services teams are collaborating on the creation of a post-occupancy survey to solicit feedback from residents who moved into housing communities to help inform the design of new buildings in our development pipeline.
RCD staff are developing and implementing policies and practices that aim to increase our hiring of diverse vendors to expand our social impact.
Building on the lessons learned with our pilot project in 2022 (as noted in our timeline), we are increasing our targeted outreach to expand our vendor pool with more underrepresented firms. With a consultant specializing in equitable contracting, we are creating new, formal procurement policies to drive the vendor selection processes and maximize economic impact. This includes a A link to: new vendor onboarding form that captures DEI information and adds new vendors to our database.
RCD is dedicated to attracting and hiring diverse and multicultural staff to bring a wide variety of perspectives to our work while actively fostering an environment where all are welcome, heard, and appreciated.
Our DEI committee provides increased accountability throughout the organization by applying a DEI lens to RCD’s work including hiring, onboarding, staff trainings, equity in contacting, improving data quality, communications, and other efforts.
A highlight of our DEI work is the implementation of a new staff compensation and evaluation program. We looked at our existing compensation model through an equity lens and with a focus on pathways for staff development and growth. Through this evaluation, we determined we needed an updated framework to further incorporate our core values, increase transparency, and address equity.
In 2022, we implemented a new framework that: