The Social Return on Investment of Multifaith Housing Initiative’s Housing Program: Demonstrating Social Value in Affordable Housing
by Lesley MacKinnon and Sahada Alolo

The purpose of this project was to understand the impacts of the Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) Housing Program on MHI Tenants and Volunteers. This research was an attempt by Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) to demonstrate the social value of the Housing Program through volunteer contributions. With funding support from Ontario Trillium Foundation, MHI commissioned the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, a research unit within the Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University, to develop indicators based on the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology as basis to gather data to inform a Social Return on Investment analysis and a narrative report.

The SROI analysis produced two results one for the social return on investment for the housing program offered by MHI and another SROI ratio for the value of the supplemental benefits offered to MHI tenants. It was found that for every dollar invested in the MHI Housing Program in 2013, 1.4 dollars was generated in social value. In addition, for every dollar invested in the supplemental benefits for the MHI Tenants surveyed, two dollars of social benefit was generated over a three-year period (2013-2016). These ratios are augmented with narrative data collected from tenants, volunteers and the Board of Directors to inform a holistic assessment of MHI’s Housing Program. To read more, download the full report.

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