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The Space4Community Survey has been completed. Huge thanks to all the not-for-profits, social enterprises and artists who participated.    

Representatives from 643 spaces participated in the Survey—revealing the challenges they face in delivering vital services and programs, including impacts from the Covid19 Pandemic.  With participants from across BC, not surprisingly, most were from the key ‘affordability’ areas of Vancouver, Lower Mainland and south/mid Vancouver Island including SPRE member municipalities of Vancouver, Richmond, Victoria, City of North Vancouver, Surrey and Nanaimo.

Watch for the survey results release in the spring of 2021. For more information on the SPACE for COMMUNITY Project, click here

The Study full Final Report with recommendations will be available in March 2021 and will be sent to all survey participants.

If you would like to stay in touch, please join the SPRE mailing list for updates on our progress. 



  1. Who should complete the survey?

The SPACE for COMMUNITY Survey is open to BC not-for-profits, social enterprises and independent artists with particular emphasis on areas of the province where affordability is a critical issue—Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas, Victoria and the Capital Regional District, parts of Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan.  These not-for-profit and social enterprise organizations include (but are not limited to): arts & culture groups and artists; health, community & social service organizations; environmental groups; childcares; advocacy organizations; faith-based places of worship that provide space for community use; co-working/shared space providers; and affordable/nonmarket housing with space for non-profits and social enterprises.

  1. I'm not from the Lower Mainland - should I still complete the survey?

YES is the short answer!! Are you in a region of BC where affordability is affecting your organization or practice? Then we definitely want to hear from you. Affordability issues for not-for-profits, social enterprises and artists occur in various parts of BC (per above). However, data from areas outside those noted is also valuable and we would be grateful if you would like to add your voice.

  1. Can I stop and come back to finish the survey later?

Yes.  The survey is designed to allow you to exit and return at a later time if you need to break from the survey for any reason or seek additional information to allow you to answer the questions.  Click on the link from the same computer used to start the survey, and you will be taken back to complete your survey.  Once you have pressed the “Submit” button, you will not be able to re-enter the survey to make any changes.

  1. What if I don't know the answer to some questions?

We suggest you have your rental, lease or license agreement (as applicable), and a copy of your annual operating budget with facility costs, handy. These documents will help you answer the questions more quickly. Picking the person who best understands your space needs, desires, and challenges, to complete the survey will also aid in completing it more quickly.

Real estate is a complex topic and we appreciate you taking the time to provide the best answers possible. Only through collecting your data can we create the narrative that is going to help enact change.  Do the best you can with the questions, including estimates where the actual number might not be known. For some questions a response is required and you will need to complete the question before moving on through the survey.

  1. If I want to change some of the answers later, can I still do that?

At any point in the survey process, you may move forward or go back to change any of your responses.  Once you have completed the survey and pressed the "Submit" button, your survey responses cannot be changed.

  1. What is the survey about?

The 2020 SPACE FOR COMMUNITY Study follows SPRE’s ground-breaking 2013 RENT-LEASE-OWN research which offered the first ever picture into the impact of the commercial real estate market on not-for-profits and social enterprises in the Vancouver area. The 2020 Study will both update the 2013 data and Study as well as dig deeper into the issues affecting the sector.

  1. Why is the Space for Community Survey important?

Every individual and family is touched by the work of not-for-profits and social enterprises—If we lose our not-for-profit and social enterprise organizations, we lose our ‘community glue’, our ability to thrive and our economic, social, cultural and environmental strength and sustainability. The vitality of the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors in British Columbia is compromised when real estate market forces make it impossible to find suitable, affordable space to deliver programs and services, and when those market forces displace organizations or encroach on assets owned by not-for-profits.

In BC over 29,000 not-for-profit organizations and thousands of social enterprises deliver critical programs and services that touch people’s lives through health, education, community and social services, childcare, environment, arts and culture and more. Critical issues of affordability, suitability and security of tenure continue to adversely affect not-for-profits and social enterprises across BC, particularly in high growth urban and regional areas.

  1. I have already responded to recent COVID-19 surveys, is this collecting the same information?

We acknowledge that this survey is coming out while groups continue to manage the impacts of the Covid19 Pandemic, but this study is different in that is focuses on real estate and takes a long-term view. The 2020 SPACE for COMMUNITY Study will document the challenges facing the social purpose sector both prior to COVID, as well as asking some COVID related questions. We know that the Pandemic both brought to the fore the importance of the sector, while exacerbating real estate conditions. SPACE for COMMUNITY digs deep into the real estate side of the Pandemic impacts.

  1. Why should I take the time to participate in the survey?

Your input into the SPACE FOR COMMUNITY Survey is essential to help us transform anecdotal knowledge into evidence and create a shared understanding of the real estate challenges affecting the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors in British Columbia.  Findings will be used to build recommendations on how to improve the real estate situation for the nonprofit, social enterprise and artist sectors.

AND, as a little bonus and to thank you for your time, SPRE and REIBC are giving away four iPads, to be randomly drawn—two at the early bird deadline, and two at the final deadline for the survey. Participants who complete the survey by the early bird deadline will have two chances to win!!

  1. Who is the SPRE Collaborative?

The Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative (SPRE) is a group of funders and investors including government that strategically engage with and support social purpose real estate in BC. Our vision is a world of resilient, inclusive and connected communities.  SPRE Members collaborate to inspire and enable BC not-for-profits and social enterprises to secure affordable and suitable spaces for community. For more information on SPRE and access to some of their amazing resources, check out the SPRE Website.

The SPRE Collaborative includes: BC Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Heritage, Central City Foundation, the cities of North Vancouver, Nanaimo, Richmond, Surrey, Victoria and Vancouver (Housing, Social Policy & Culture), Community Impact Real Estate Society, Community Land Trust, Metro Vancouver, Real Estate Foundation of BC, Renewal Partners, Vancity Community Foundation and Vancity Credit Union.

  1. Who is the Real Estate Institute of BC?

REIBC is a not for profit professional organization that awards the RI designation to qualified real estate professionals.   With a minimum education requirement and minimum experience requirement these individuals that receive their designation are experienced, educated and connected.   The membership is voluntary and is a diverse group of elite professionals from all sectors of the industry.  The mission is to promote their diverse RI designated members as distinguished professionals that are trusted, educated and experienced.  REIBC collaborates with many throughout the industry to promote professional development and professionalism throughout the industry.

  1. When will the results be made available to everyone & where can I find the final report?

The 2020 SPACE for COMMUNITY Study results will be released in February 2021 with the full report posted on the SPRE Website. All survey participants who provide their contact information will receive an email at the conclusion of the study with a link to the report. In addition, SPRE and its member municipalities will be hosting  community events to share the results in Spring 2021.

  1. Who is funding the SPACE for COMMUNITY STUDY & SURVEY?

Support for the 2020 SPACE for COMMUNITY Study is generously provided by the Real Estate Foundation of BC, BC Housing, Vancity Community Foundation & Vancity Credit Union, the Real Estate Institute of BC, the Community Impact Real Estate Society, the Land Economics Society – Vancouver Chapter, the City of Victoria and SPRE members, with support from the UBC School of Community & Regional Planning and Mitacs for SPRE’s Research Internship.