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Mindful : August 2018
thing that has a five-year payback or better. And a five-year payback represents a 20% annual return on investment. It doesn’t matter if there’s a recession or inflation, or whatever, you get that 20% return. It’s a pretty amazing investment to be making. We also think that there are health-systems benefits. When we build buildings with non- toxic environments that have extra-size rooms for families, with healthy food accessible on site, and so on, we believe—and there’s a lot of data to support our belief—healthcare costs are reduced. Just as we can reap the returns of green-building investments, one of the things we’d like to start exploring is whether we can create a system whereby people who are providing yoga or meditation or exercise classes, or running community gardens, can share in the economic benefit of the well-being enhancement. What would it take to get more subsidies to be doing these kinds of projects, or more buy-in from developers that healthy and green and affordable is the way to go? The buy-in is happening. We’re not the only developer doing this integ rated-community strategy. I’m seeing amazing work being done all over the country. The affordable-housing- development community is a very innovative and mission-focused community. The issue is more resources. The Denver City Council passed a bill to allocate some of its tax income for an affordable- housing fund, and we’re seeing that happen in a variety of places across the country. We really need more support at the federal level, though. As I said, there’s an affordable housing crisis now and I think we’re going to see it rise. There’s ongoing income inequality, and people are get- ting frustrated from working harder and just not getting ahead. My hope is that leaders will begin to see that we need to be funding more. There are many, many people in a variety of different places who are starting to say so. My sense is there is a rising movement. Do you ever get discouraged? I’m an optimist, and there are things that are definitely frustrating, but rarely am I stuck on → August 2018 mindful 71 society spiritrock.org re-connect.