REFBC’s grants program has five program areas. The program areas are subject matter lenses that we apply to help determine whether or not a project is a good fit for a General Grant. Research and experience tell us that fresh water, sustainable food systems and well-planned built environments are integral to sustainable communities.
We accept applications through two streams: General Grants and Real Estate Industry Grants:
General Grants can fund work in all five program areas. REFBC has two intakes a year for General Grants and applications are open to any non-profit organization in British Columbia doing projects related to land use. For more details, see our Eligibility page.
Real Estate Industry Grants can also fund work in all five program areas, but most applications focus on the “professional excellence in real estate” program area. Applications for Real Estate Industry Grants are open only to organizations that are part of the real estate industry in British Columbia.
Sustainable Land Use
Land use is the human use of land – that is, management, conservation and modification of natural environments, built environments and semi-natural areas – for the purpose of supporting human settlement and communities.
Sustainable land use enables people to thrive within nature's limits; it integrates social, environmental, economic and cultural objectives into policy and practice for the long-term well-being of communities and ecosystems.
Built Environment Sustainability
The built environment encompasses the buildings and infrastructure that support where and how people live. The way we plan, design, build and operate our communities has significant economic, social and environmental impacts. By funding initiatives focused on better land use policies, development regulations and building practices that respond to both human and ecological needs, the Real Estate Foundation contributes to more sustainable communities.
A safe and abundant supply of fresh water is vital to sustainable communities – freshwater sustainability means making choices that protect freshwater resources now and in the future. Our interest is in initiatives such as new approaches in land use planning, policy and regulation; mapping studies and applied research that contributes to the health of freshwater systems.
Sustainable Food Systems
A sustainable food system integrates production, processing, distribution and consumption of food, and waste management, in ways that enhance community well-being. Communities in BC are facing challenges that affect food security, including climate change, rising oil prices and development pressures on agricultural land. We fund initiatives that contribute to novel land use policy and planning that supports sustainable food systems.
Professional Excellence in Real Estate Industry
The Foundation earmarks a percentage of its yearly grants budget to help fund projects put forward by the BC Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of BC, the Real Estate Institute of BC, the regional real estate boards and associations in BC, and any other non-profit organization that meets the Foundation's Real Estate Industry Grant Program criteria.