Gregory Heller, CEO of American Communities Trust, spent years working on social impact building projects in distressed communities, and wondered why the most important building projects have to struggle for financing “by hook or by crook”. In his talk, he illustrates why the system of private financing in the real estate market holds back critically important projects. He proposes a radical change to support both building for profit and building for good. Heller asserts that our communities and the way they’re built deserve a second look, and we can all be part of the solution.
Gregory Heller is empowering urban and low-income communities across the U.S. to build stronger and more resilient communities through “social-impact real estate”. He argues that we need to think creatively about which projects and spaces are important to our communities, and the policy changes that must occur to make them possible. After a decade in community development, Heller decided to focus on the potential and challenges of physical projects with a social mission. In 2014, Heller is the CEO of American Communities Trust (ACT), a Baltimore-based nonprofit dedicated to “building social impact” in urban and low-income communities across the U.S. Although ACT is based in Baltimore and works nationwide, Heller’s commitment to his hometown has brought several of its initiatives to Philadelphia.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx