Social Purpose Real Estate Training Modules

When and Where

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:00 pm to Tuesday, March 23, 2021 3:00 pm
Online Conferencing


Matti Siemiatycki, Interim Director - School of Cities
Bernnitta Hawkins, Former Executive Director - The Red Door Family Shelter
Carol Latchford, Executive Director - The Red Door Family Shelter
Graeme Hussey, Director of Housing Development - CCOC, President - Cahdco
Jana Bawaba, Development Project Coordinator, Cahdco
LoriAnn Girvan, Principal - LoriAnn Girvan Consulting
Abigail Moriah, Founder - Black Planning Group | Black Planning Project
Jeanhy Shim, President & Founder, Toronto Housing Lab




What were the training modules?

The School of Cities at U of T and Social Purpose Real Estate (SPRE) Toronto led a series of training modules to support non-profits and community/social service providers. The training modules were designed to enhance the knowledge and capacity of organizations, empowering them to become partner-ready to pursue real estate development. These modules weree hosted via online conferencing, with each session lasting approximately 2 hours. 

When did the modules taking place?

Four workshops were scheduled on separate days between the dates of February 16, 2021 and March 23, 2021.

Who attended?

The training will be best-suited to Ontario-based non-profits and social services, but all are welcome to attend. All non-profits and social services interested in pursuing social purpose real estate or long-term tenancies are invited to this workshop, including:

Arts / Culture Groups

Advocacy / Service Organizations

Community / Social Service Organizations

Faith-based Organizations

Non-market Housing Organizations


If one of the following statements describes your organization, these training modules may be suitable for you:

  • Organizations who wish to secure their own future by building equity into their own buildings;
  • Organizations who may be overwhelmed by the gap of knowledge in the real estate development sector;
  • Organizations with an interest in partnering with other service non-profits, affordable housing providers, private developers, and other institutions;
  • Organizations wanting to learn more about successful examples of fellow non-profits and social services who have undergone the real estate and partnership process

Session Themes

The training modules are dynamic online seminars with both lecture and interactive components. The four training modules focus on the themes of:

  1. Collaborative Advantage (1 module)
    • Explores the multifaceted benefits of creative mixed-use partnerships and will include successful/unsuccessful case studies,a walk-through of the key processes in forming a partnership, and other self-evaluation tools.
  2. Real Estate Development and Financing (2 modules)
    • Provides an overview of the real estate development process for non-profits, including community/social service organizations and organizations interested in affordable housing. These modules are designed to walk through the project stages with emphasis on key milestones as well as review the appropriate financing & funding tools and limitations.
  3. Sustainable Operations and Stewardship (1 module)
    • Highlights best practices and partnership arrangements that support the long-term success of the project. This may include incorporating green building elements, flexibility in design, setting up various revenue streams, and consideration for different types of ownership arrangements.