The Eco-Community Trust (ECT) holds the community assets through two entities that manage different items – the Ecocity Property Holdings Land (EPHL), and the Ecocity Property Holdings Buildings and Infrastructure (EPHBI). The ECT Board’s primary function is to appoint and monitor the performance of the managers of EPHL and EPHBI and to ensure that community assets are properly stewarded and managed in the interest of the community at large.
Ecocity Builders suggest setting up performance-based leases of community assets to incentivize behavior that benefits the community as a whole. A lease could be given to a farmer, for example, offering him a discount on the lease if the carbon content of the land and consequently the fertility of the soil improves over time.
As many small initiatives and businesses might need additional funding to get started or grow besides the initial capital of the entrepreneur or family member, Ecocity Builders furthermore proposes the creation of an Ecocity Capital Fund (ECF) than can collect savings from some community members and lend to small business in the community. The ECF should be governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of three members of the ECT Board, one representative from the community and a University representative connected to the University’s Technical Assistance (TA) department.
The main role of the EFC management team is to collect investments from the community, identify creditworthy borrowers in the community, initiate and service the loans and periodically check in with the borrowers to refer them in a timely fashion to potential resources. It shall also produce periodic reports on its operations and the performance of the fund for its boards on a yearly basis for its investors
The role of the TA department is to be the repository of collective business knowledge and provider of technical assistance to new businesses. The management of the fund, however, will be let to a separate management team
Challenges for implementation
The ward-level interventions (as well as the buildings and construction-sector interventions) that were identified are faced with both governance and financing challenges.
In sum, municipalities have limited budget and revenue sources to keep pace with increasing infrastructural needs and to upgrade their quality and improve overall service delivery. Larger-scale interventions would require financing both from the city-level and the national/federal level.