What Happens When Real Estate Meets Social Impact?

Using property for good

Why It Matters

Canada is facing rocketing property prices, shortages of community housing, and displaced communities in gentrified neighbourhoods. A centuries-old solution is to merge real estate with social impact — but what does that look like in today’s world? This series on social impact real estate is crafted in partnership with Windmill Developments and Urban Equation.

Of the social impact organizations in your network, how many would describe themselves as being in the real estate business? How many operate with a level of real-estate competency on par with traditional fundraising or volunteer management? 

Chances are, it’s a pretty short list. The social impact sector often views the real estate industry (or perhaps just real estate developers) with hesitancy. Like any industry, its inner workings are not well understood by outsiders. It’s full of incomprehensible jargon, which sadly is not as exciting as the equally baffling jargon of other domains. While zoning by-laws and density calculations tend to make people’s eyes glaze over, design thinking

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