To introduce the concept of social offsets, I wrote a FAQ making the assumptions that the idea is already up and running. This first post introduces the basics for discussion. You can read my full (still evolving FAQ) here
What is a “social offset”?
- A social offset is an investment you can make to offset the social impact of your housing choices. Just as a carbon offset mitigates your impact on the climate, a social offset mitigates your impact on housing affordability in your community by creating new alternatives for residents
Why are social offsets needed?
- New developments in areas such as the Downtown East Site (DTES) of Vancouver can be great economic stimulants and start to regenerate neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the benefits of this revitalization are distributed very unevenly. Existing low-income resident are no longer able to afford to live in their own neighbourhood. They are often forced to leave – either for economic reasons or simply because they have been evicted and their building torn down
How does it work?
- When you buy a social offset, you are contributing to a national fund to build local projects. The philosophy is “give nationally, build locally”
- The goal of this approach is to engage citizens across the country to become part of the solution by funding innovative creative solutions for affordable housing. Local expertise is used to evaluate proposals ensuring both community involvement and community appropriateness