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Insight: REIBC blog > Community Builds Community

Community Builds Community

posted on 4:11 PM, January 20, 2021
Phil Bouvier Family Centre in Vancouver. Credit: Central City Foundation

Central City Foundation works to build safe, suitable, and affordable community spaces and projects in the inner-city. To do this, the organization first strives to understand the challenging social issues and systemic inequities that underlie the demographics of inner-city communities.

“We know that it is necessary to continue to build strong relationships with organizations that are working to change the underlying conditions and address the deep trauma of generational poverty and injustice if we wish to make meaningful improvements in the community and help those in need improve their lives,” says Central City Foundation’s Jennifer Johnstone. “We believe that investing in these community solutions will benefit all of us, not just inner-city communities.”

One of the many lessons Central City Foundation has learned in its 100-plus years is the importance of meaningful community participation. “[W]e have witnessed numerous well-intentioned revitalization or rejuvenation projects lacking in meaningful participation by community organizations or residents, which have only served to displace the most vulnerable in the community or deepen the challenges of poverty, homelessness, and the profound lack of opportunities,” says Johnstone.

Real estate projects that make real social impact must put the community first. “Our experience has taught us that if we invest in projects that are led by community organizations, wherein those most affected by an issue have meaningful input into the design and delivery of programs and projects, we are much more likely to build a solution that is lasting and effective.”

Input Fall 2020
Download Fall 2020

To read more about Central City Foundation’s approach to social purpose real estate, see “Social Purpose Real Estate Is Key Building Livable Communities,” in the Fall 2020 edition of Input. Download Fall 2020

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