World Housing, CCC Inc., A Vancouver firm, announced this week the launch of the world’s first one-for-one real estate gifting model. The program, inspired by the global success of TOMS™ shoes, requires qualified partner developers to contribute a fixed amount on every condo sold in the first world, to building and gifting a new home for qualified, deserving families that live in and around large third world garbage dump communities.
“We cannot possibly overstate the incredible social change that is created by gifting homes to the most deserving people on earth,” said Peter Dupuis, co-founder of World Housing. “The conditions of landfill communities are the worst in the world; these people are literally surviving off of the garbage of others, spending hours a day trying to find clean water and food for their family. Receiving a home gives a stable living environment to help create a better life.”
World Housing’s social venture model works in conjunction with developers, homebuyers, non-government organizations (NGOs) and participating recipients. Developers that qualify for the World Housing certification program contribute $2,900 from the sale of a condominium at their project, which funds the construction and gifting of a home in one of World Housing’s landfill communities. Homebuyers are provided with the opportunity to follow the development of the home they helped create with their purchase, while on the ground construction, gifting, and management is conducted with participating NGO-Builder Partners.
“We are very encouraged by the reception the real estate community has given this program,” said Sid Landolt, co-founder of World Housing. “It brings to the forefront the real need for safe and secure housing for the world’s most vulnerable communities. A relatively small contribution truly does make a lifelong impact on the families receiving this gift.”
Each home is designed and constructed by a local “micro homebuilding” factory in partnership between World Housing and the local NGO-Builder Partner. Locals from the landfill community are hired and trained in construction techniques to build the homes, which provides them a skill for future employment. A typical World Housing home is a 130 sq. ft. structure, which rests on elevated support beams to protect from flooding and infestation, while the all-metal construction and insulation offer protection from the elements. Homes are equipped with electricity (either solar panel or local connection, depending on location) and a rainwater collection system provides fresh water. Most importantly, the homes are safe and secure, a rare quality in landfill communities.
World Housing is Canada’s first Community Contribution Company (CCC), a registered social enterprise that enables sustainable social change through a for-profit enterprise. By corporate charter, all of World Housing’s profits are used to expand its impact around the globe.
Currently, World Housing is involved in three landfill communities based outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Manila, Philippines; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As World Housing grows, the goal is to expand its areas of influence to include landfill communities in India, South America and Africa with a benchmark of putting roofs-over-heads for 30,000 deserving people by 2020.