Real Estate Foundation of BC

Christian Hansen
Revenue & Investments Manager

The Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) is a philanthropic organization based in British Columbia, Canada. Our work supports land use and real estate practices that contribute to resilient, healthy communities and natural environments.

The Foundation works to transform land use attitudes and practices in two ways: through grants to support research, education and law/policy reform; and through initiatives and special projects that bridge gaps in research and collaboration.

REFBC Grants

Since launching the grants program in 1988, we have approved more than $75 million in funding to support real estate and land use projects across the province. Our grants support non-profit organizations working to improve BC communities and natural environments through responsible and informed land use, conservation and real estate practices.

Our Funding

In most cases, when property is purchased in British Columbia, real estate brokerages will hold the deposit in a pooled trust account until the sale closes. Under the Real Estate Services Act, the Foundation receives any interest earned on these trust accounts. In turn, we use those funds to support real estate related education, research, law reform, and other land-related activities intended for the public or professional good.


The Foundation is directed by a Board of Governors, which consists of seven appointed members. The British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia, and the Union of BC Municipalities each appoint one member. The Minister of Finance (BC government) appoints three members.

Each Governor’s term varies according to their appointing body, and they can be appointed for two consecutive terms. The Foundation’s Chair and Vice-chair are elected at REFBC’s annual general meeting in March and each serve for one year.


In 1985, the British Columbia real estate industry, in cooperation with the provincial government, enacted legislation that established the Real Estate Foundation. Under the Real Estate Services Act (BC), our main purposes are “to undertake and carry out real estate public and professional education, real estate law reform, real estate research and other projects intended for the public or professional good in relation to real estate activities.”

While there are parallel foundations across Canada in the legal field, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation are the only two foundations of their kind.