Back row: Reverend Jim Smith, Neil Fernyhough (PH2H), Jean Macdonald (PH2H), Robert Brown
Front row: Margaret Eberle, Emily Beam, Terry Harrison

Using Land Assets to Fulfill Your Non-profit Mission

Multiple needs can be met when mission-based organizations harness  their land assets and align their mission in a land redevelopment project. With a small grant from Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, this was the focus of “Land Development with A Social Lens,” a forum hosted by the Peninsula Homeless to Housing Task Force (PH2H)  on October 17th, in South Surrey.  This initiative is building capacity within the faith-based community and supports the creation of affordable housing in Surrey.

PH2H recognizes a growing trend among congregations that may be asset rich but revenue poor. Many congregations  have been facing rising building maintenance costs for aging buildings and changing service support demands within the congregation. PH2H decided to invite the faith-based community to share stories and best practices on how they can redevelop their land with a focus on creating affordable housing.  PH2H brought together a diverse panel to talk about how church congregations can mobilize their congregation, maximize the potential of their land assets and fulfill their mission.

Emily Beam, Manager, Strategic Programs, VanCity Community Foundation (VCF) shared several useful checklists   created recently to help mission-based organizations unsure of how to get started on a land redevelopment project.  VCF created these tools drawing on interviews with 12 congregations in Metro Vancouver and VCF`s history of working with the faith community. Watch for these checklists available soon at Vancity Community Foundation.

Terry Harrison, Property Resource Team Lead with United Church of BC, spoke about the connection between church and community and the province-wide redevelopment strategy they are pursuing.

Jim Smith shared an inspiring story of how his West End congregation has progressed through a self-managed redevelopment process that will see a multi-use 22-storey tower built on the site of their existing church in 2015. The new building will provide market and affordable housing, as well as church and community space.

Robert Brown, President, Catalyst Community Developments Society talked about his work at Catalyst creating a new model for sustainable, impactful real estate development. He touched on projects currently in development with four different congregations in BC.

And Margaret Eberle, Senior Planner, Metro Vancouver reviewed the Metro Vancouver affordable housing process.

PH2H will continue to work with interested congregations to connect them with partners and funders who can help them move forward with redevelopment plans.

About our Grants

With a grant from Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, PH2H’s “Land Development with A Social Lens” forum is building capacity within the faith-based community and is supporting the creation of affordable housing in Surrey.

The Society makes a difference in our community by funding projects that will reduce homelessness in Surrey. To date, we have invested over $2 million dollars into supporting our community. We believe ending homelessness is possible by helping each other.