media release

Report supports city’s housing/homelessness strategy

April 29, 2014
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Contact:
Colin Stansfield, RADIUS Lab @ Ecotrust Canada, 778.985.5552, cstansfield@radiussfu.com
Geordan Hankinson, Ecotrust Canada, 604.682.4141, geordan@ecotrust.ca
Ross MacDonald-Allan, SFU Beedie, 778.782.9492, rossm@sfu.ca

Websites:
Full report: http://ecotrust.ca/communities/socialfinance
SFU’s RADIUS: http://www.radiussfu.com/
Ecotrust Canada: http://ecotrust.ca/
City of Vancouver Housing and Homelessness Strategy

A new report co-produced by a Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business initiative aims to help the City of Vancouver provide supportive housing for marginalized individuals.

The report, Pay-for-Performance Partnerships: A case study in funding for Supportive Housing, was released this week and produced by nonprofit organization Ecotrust Canada, in conjunction with RADIUS, an interdisciplinary social innovation lab at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

The report recommends the use of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) to jump-start financing for the provision of new housing and integrated support services for people with severe addiction and/or mental illness (SAMI).

SIBs are powerful new tools to leverage private capital for innovative social programs. They invite private investors to provide startup financing, enabling governments to support programming by repaying investors only for long-term positive outcomes.

The report shows how SIBs could be used to expand the scale of support systems available to the SAMI population and better align the interests of provincial ministries, the City of Vancouver, and social service agencies around shared outcomes to reduce inappropriate demands on healthcare, policing and justice systems.

Authors Geordan Hankinson and Colin Stansfield are graduates of the MBA program at SFU’s Beedie School of Business who are now working with Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS. 

“This report demonstrates the feasibility of using SIBs to attract new sources of capital, socializing the benefits of innovative program delivery and privatizing the risk—the public doesn’t pay unless outcome targets are met,” says Stansfield.

“SIBs could further integrate the efforts of health, housing, and service providers, better enabling the City of Vancouver to meet the targets laid out in their Housing and Homelessness Strategy.”

The report builds on the At Home/Chez Soi study, a four-year project by the Government of Canada that aimed to provide practical, meaningful support to Canadians experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.

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Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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