Community Commitments

Columbia University has a long-standing history of working together with our local community, and as we build our Manhattanville campus, we are also expanding and enhancing many programs and services. Two major agreements codify the University's commitment to new investment in our local community. They are the Community Benefits Agreement, in partnership with the West Harlem Development Corporation, and the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions with Empire State Development (ESD).

Highlights of the agreements include:

  • $76 million to fund community benefits for the West Harlem community through the West Harlem Development Corporation
  • $20 million to an affordable housing fund
  • Up to $4 million in housing legal assistance for West Harlem residents
  • $20 million to the Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC), an Empire State Development (ESD) subsidiary that plans and facilitates community revitalization
  • More than $400 million paid to date to minority-, women- or locally-owned (MWL) construction trade firms


The following agreements contain the University's commitments for Manhattanville project-related amenities and benefits:

Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions (DCR) DECEMBER 14, 2011

Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) MAY 20, 2009

These commitments are monitored and periodic updates on the University’s progress are submitted to ESD.  In recognition that the University is committed not only to ESD but also to the local community in general, it was determined that progress reports would be made available for anyone wishing to see them.  

View the most recent reporting submitted to ESD.

For the purpose of determining program eligibility, "local community" is defined as neighborhoods in Community Districts 9, 10, 11 and 12, unless otherwise indicated within each individual benefit.

In accordance with Section 5.02 of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, ESD has appointed Landair, Inc. as an independent third-party monitor to provide ESD with reports and recommendations concerning Columbia University's compliance with certain commitments under these agreements.

Additional Information

For more information on each commitment, click on the links within the categories below.

All Benefits

  • Dental Health Screenings for Senior Citizens
  • Shuttle Bus Service for the Elderly and Disabled
  • Columbia Employment Information Center (CEIC)
  • Columbia University Minority-, Women- and Locally-Owned (MWL) Construction Trades Certificate Mentorship Program
  • Minority-, Women- and Locally-Owned (MWL) Businesses and Workforce Participation
  • Outreach for Disconnected Youth
  • Project Labor Agreement (PLA)
  • Workforce Training Program
  • Community Benefits Fund - $76 Million
  • Community-Provided Job Training - $500,000
  • Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC) Financial Contribution - $20 Million
  • Medical Technician Training Program - $1 Million
  • Housing Legal Assistance - $4 Million
  • Affordable Housing Fund - $20 Million
  • Residential Relocation
  • Residential Relocation Adjustment Payments
  • Athletics Clinics
  • Mind Brain Behavior K-12 Education Center
  • Mobile Dental Center for Pre-School Children
  • New Public Middle and High School for Math, Science and Engineering
  • Summer Camp Scholarships for Children
  • Teachers College Community School
  • Undergraduate Scholarships for Local Aid-Eligible Students
  • Youth Internships for Local High School Students
  • Annual Meetings with Community and Faculty
  • Availability of Facilities
  • Availability of Faculty
  • Access to Facilities and Services as "In-Kind Benefits" - $20 Million
  • Space Provisions for the Local Community
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Community Scholars Program
  • Graduate Scholarships for Elementary School Teachers
  • Mind Brain Behavior Public Outreach Center
  • Scholarships to Lifelong Learners and Course Auditing
  • Community Alert System