Managing Neighborhood Change: Anti-Displacement Strategies Toolkit

MAPC’s Managing Neighborhood Change: Selected Anti-Displacement Strategies in Practice toolkit supports MetroFuture’s Housing Choices goals and strategies for the MAPC regionby providing information on anti-displacement best practices and examples of local strategies in action. These strategies are intended to advance the interests of lower-income individuals and families who are at risk of displacement from their neighborhoods due to new investment in housing, businesses, and infrastructure, including transit. This toolkit is based on a comprehensive literature review of academic and non-academic reports released over the last 10 years. It uses data, case studies, and planning project work to understand indicators of displacement and create a responsive framework that integrates them into planning policies and programs.

The first phase of MAPC’s anti-displacement work, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Regional Planning Grant for Sustainable Communities, developed a catalogue of best practices to manage neighborhood change and ensure development without displacement across the country. This work informed the creation of transit-oriented development funds in Metro Boston, and the pursuit of specific policies and strategies in Somerville and Medford in anticipation of the MBTA Green Line Extension.

The second phase, funded by HUD, the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation, and the District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) Fund, further explored these strategies through individual project work in different communities within the MAPC region in order to fine tune interventions and local policies. This includes continued work with the City of Somerville and the Somerville Community Corporation, and the development of Revere’s Shirley Avenue Neighborhood Action Plan with The Neighborhood Developers and the City of Revere.

During the third phase of work, funded by the Barr Foundation, MAPC staff updated and refined this Toolkit to augment it with ideas from throughout the nation, to reflect recent experience here in Metro Boston, and to make it more user-friendly. We are also actively seeking opportunities to collaborate with additional municipalities and community-based organizations to analyze displacement pressures and implement anti-displacement policies and programs. Already, LISC, MHIC, other participants in the Gentrification Learning Community, and community-based organizations in the municipalities where we focus, such as The Neighborhood Developers in Chelsea, are important partners in both testing and disseminating the toolkit. These efforts will result in more work to avoid displacement during neighborhood change, but will also generate additional experience and best practices for MAPC to share through this toolkit.

Managing Neighborhood Change Toolkit Sections

Why It’s Important

Anti-displacement strategies can help communities manage neighborhood change resulting from new investment in housing, businesses, and infrastructure representative of increased market demand. Doing so can help mitigate the impacts of such change on lower-income households in particular, helping to distribute the benefits of new investment among all members of a community. It is important to note that no one single anti-displacement strategy can mitigate the negative consequences of neighborhood change on its own. Several strategies and policies should likely be implemented to have the greatest effect.


For additional information, please contact Chief Housing Planner Karina Milchman at