Space for Community: understanding the real estate challenges affecting the not - for - profit and social purpose sectors

When the landmark 2013 Rent--Lease--Own Study was released—anecdote turned to evidence and the crisis of space in the non-profit sector was day-lighted in a way that policy makers and the sector could not avoid. 

Seven years later and the crisis has not abated, although there are many more players and solutions are being found. Social purpose real estate is no longer a new word -- part of the global move toward making a difference, or IMPACT in our communities.

SPRE is committed to ensuring we have a contemporary up to date understanding of the situation at our finger tips, and is proud to announce our 2019 - 2020 re-boot of Rent – Lease – Own now a call to action - Space for Community. Both an update and expansion, this study has also included a series of capacity building / data collection workshops in December 2019 and January 2020. 

  • for more information on the Space for Community Project, click here
  • for more information on  Rent – Lease – Own workshops, click here

Don’t forget to check the SPRE Home Page and "News/Updates" for other upcoming events and to sign up to stay in touch!


  • 2018 Hero Work Panel on Non Profit/Chairty Needs for Real Estate, Irene Gannitsos & Jacqueline Gijssen, Victoria
  • 2018 ​Space for Cutlure at "Unrestricted" BC Alliance for Arts & Culture & Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Association Conference, Jennifer Johnstone-Central City Foundation, Martha Burton-Renewal Partners, Irene Gannitsos-Vancity Community Foundation, Pierre Stolte/Deborah Meyers-Canadian Heritage, Alix Sales-City Vancouver Culture, Jacquie Gijssen, Project Director, SPRE with graphic recording by Annalee Kornelsen.
  • 2018 SPRE Site Visits: BC Artscape Chinatown Cultural HUB
  • 2017 Finding Community Spaces in an Increasingly Crowded City, IMPACT West: A Forum for Foundations, Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations, Jennifer Johnstone & Jacqueline Gijssen, Vancouver
  • 2017 Resiliency & Sustainability Through Social Purpose Real Estate, National Executive Forum on Public Property, Jacqueline Gijssen, Vancouver
  • 2017 Social Purpose Real Estate: Solutions for Victoria NPOs, Hosted by Social Innovation Centre, Vancity and Victoria Foundation, Jacqueline Gijssen, Victoria
  • 2017 Place, Invitational Discussion in preparation for 2018 National Conveying, Jacqueline Gijssen, Vancouver 
  • 2017 Enhance Mission, Capital and Operations with SPRE Partnerships, BC Non-Profit Housing Association Conference, Housing Central, Karen Hemmingson, Jennifer Johnstone, Jordan Brown and Jacqueline Gijssen, Richmond
  • 2017 Partnership Exploration, Housing Partnership Conference, Jennifer Johnstone, Richmond
  • 2017 SPRE Symposium: Demystifying Real Estate for Non Profits and Social Enterprise with "Intelligent Leasing", "Finding the Money", "Planning for Space" ISSofBC Welcome House, Vancouver
  • 2017 SPRE Site Visits: New Westminster: Seniors Services Society and Aunt Leah’s Place. Victoria: Social Innovation Centre (Immigrant Services Society + Victoria Family Service Society) 
  • 2015 SPRE / NCN Conference: "Building Opportunities and Connecting Possibilities", Vancouver
  • 2012 SPRE Mini Workshops: "To Hold/ To Sell/ To Develop", "Functional Programming for Non Profit Organizations","ABC's of Development", "Leasing or Buying--Colocation or Solo", HiVE, Vancouver
  • 2010 SPRE Conference: "Our Places Our Spaces", Vancouver


  • 2017 Housing Central / BC Non Profit Housing Conference Bursaries, Richmond 
  • 2015 Building Opportunities Conference Bursaries, Vancouver
  • 2013 Building Opportunities Conference Bursaries, Denver
  • 2011 Building Opportunities Conference Bursaries, Los Angeles
  • 2010 Our Places Our Spaces Conference Bursaries, Vancouver