The World's First One-for-One Real Estate Gifting Model

Inspired by the TOMS Shoes one-for-one gifting model, World Housing was the first organization to apply this model to the real estate market. For every home sold at one of their certified World Housing condominium projects, a home is constructed and gifted to a deserving family living in a developing world landfill community.



One-for-one gifting was a new concept in the real estate market with a virtually unproven business model. How would media and the real estate industry react to a concept that has the potential to revolutionize condo purchasing, but has little to no proof of concept. World Housing had its developer partner model and one developer secured (Vancouver House by Westbank) for the launch of the one-for-one program but it was based in Vancouver. This meant if someone wanted to be involved in this creative movement (buying and giving a home), they’d need to purchase a condo in Vancouver.


We were strategic in the words we used to share World Housing’s story. In interviews, co-founder Pete Dupuis used terms like “Third World” and “dump dwellers,” to talk about where they were operating and who they were helping. “Developing Countries” are Third World nations and while “Third World” is a dramatic, politically incorrect term, it is one that accurately reflects the conditions in the areas World Housing is building and gifting homes.

The people they are gifting homes to are residents of massive landfills and dumps. They earn their living by collecting recyclables in the dump and by definition, they are dwellers and residents of dump communities. Again, while the term “dump dweller” is a harsh term to use when referring to human beings, our objective was to educate the world about the true conditions of how these people in Cambodia live and why we are passionate about helping them. Adding politically correct western versions of these terms and phrases would not have delivered the story accurately.

To ensure reporters and the public would not take offence to World Housing’s language, we developed key messaging that allowed Pete to deliver this honest message in an educational and endearing manner. The media were appreciative of his honest yet respectful approach.