Participation catalyzing change : a case for tenant participation in BC Housing’s planning for sustainability as a means to encourage environmentally sustainable behaviors Vandecasteyen, Ryan
BC Housing is a provincial crown agency under the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minister Responsible for Housing), and is mandated to fulfill the government’s commitment to the development, management and administration of subsidized housing as reflected in an order-in-Council under the Housing Act establishing the BC Housing in 1967 (BC Housing, 2007a). In the last five years, the Province of British Columbia has set out to tackle the issue of climate change, and under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target Act introduced in 2007, BC Housing must become a carbon neutral organization by the end of June 2011 (BC Housing, 2010a). In 2008, BC Housing introduced the livegreen plan as BC Housing’s sustainability strategy, providing a roadmap to help fight climate change by reducing the environmental footprint of new and existing social housing in BC (BC Housing, 2010a). The livegreen plan was created through an employee engagement process, and has resulted in a large number of green-energy retrofits, reductions in housing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, new buildings being constructed to LEED standards, and the fostering of environmentally sustainable behaviors for BC Housing employees (BC Housing, 2010a). To further reduce BC Housing’s environmental footprint BC Housing is now looking for a way to engage its tenants in environmentally sustainable behaviors; this report outlines some initial findings for a means to reach this goal. To facilitate and engage its tenants in environmentally sustainable behaviors, BC Housing must incorporate meaningful tenant engagement into its planning and decision-making processes for actions, programs and policies.
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