REFBC Grants $1.3M to Fund 10 Land Use Projects

lake okanagan near vernon, bc

Lake Okanagan, near Vernon, BC. (Photo: Stephanie Butler)

Pilot projects that will increase options for small and infill housing in BC communities. A program that brings REALTORS®, builders and residents together to learn about home energy efficiency. Journalism that explores issues of rights and title, highlighting the relationship Indigenous peoples have with the land.

These examples are amongst the 10 projects approved by the Real Estate Foundation of BC last week. REFBC’s Board of Governors approved six General Grants and ratified four small General Grants, for a total of more than $1.3 million to support land use and real estate projects in communities across BC.

To date, the Foundation has granted more than $78 million to projects across BC. Our grants support research, education and policy/law reform on topics related to land use and real estate.

The ten grants are listed below, in alphabetical order.

  • In partnership with Indigenous community leaders and journalists at the National Observer, the Canadian Centre for Investigative Journalism will produce a series of stories and a short documentary on First Nations rights and title, which will help build public understanding of Indigenous traditions and interests in land use and land use decision-making in British Columbia. ($70,000)
  • The City of Richmond will work in partnership with Metro Vancouver and neighbouring municipalities to develop options for a building energy benchmarking program. Once approved, the program will include a legal opinion and model bylaw, data exchange functionality, pilot training for building owners and managers, and suggested reporting and data visualization best practices. ($105,000)
  • The Community Energy Association will lead “Building a Legacy”, a program to increase knowledge and capacity among East Kootenay consumers, REALTORS®, trades/contractors, builders and local government staff regarding home energy efficiency. ($20,000)
  • In Revelstoke, the Community Connections Society will work to increase local food production through access to farmland by hosting training and land-linking workshops, planning networking events for farmers and working with city planners to update Official Community Plans. ($4,212)
  • Over three years, the Pembina Institute will develop, advance, implement and assess evidence-based climate action policies and programs in BC. Recommendations will be designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect land and water resources, build low-carbon prosperity, advance progress on energy efficiency and conservation, and improve the sustainability of rural land use and resource extraction practices. ($900,000)
  • The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition will collaborate with residents, community groups and First Nations to develop a revitalization strategy for the Hazelton area of the Skeena watershed. ($18,875)
  • Using video and digital tools, the Skidegate Band Council will share their Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) with community members and with other First Nations interested in beginning the CCP process. ($7,500)
  • Small Housing BC will conduct outreach in BC municipalities to increase the uptake of smaller (<1,500 sqf) forms of housing. Once three focus municipalities are chosen, Small Housing BC researchers will work with planning and policy staff to update zoning and regulations to allow for small-scale infill development. ($30,000)
  • As part of a project to develop a community-created Land Code (to replace land use provisions in the Indian Act), the Tahltan Band Council will form a Land Code Working Group. The Working Group – which will include elders, youth, local and off-reserve citizens – will work to develop, review and engage the community with the Land Code. ($35,000)
  • In partnership with governments and non-profits, West Coast Environmental Law will work to develop a collaborative governance model for implementing coastal and flood protection programs for communities along the Salish Sea coastline. This collaborative will bring jurisdictions together to monitor and protect coastal ecosystems and to mitigate future impacts of climate change. ($120,000)

Our Next Application Cycle

The deadline for our next intake of General Grant applications is Sept. 6, 2017. For details, visit our grants page or contact Nick Davies, Grants Coordinator, at