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• Mar. 15, 2024

At a time when the cost of housing continues to rise, and some communities facing barriers are met with the challenge of accessing stable, long-term housing, even organizations that are dedicated to building more housing are finding it challenging to get new projects off the ground.

For Marc Soberano and his team at Raising the Roof | Chez Toit – a charity committed to developing long-term solutions to homelessness across Canada – that's where their Reside program comes in.

According to Soberano, Executive Director of Raising the Roof, Reside is unique in its combination of treating one of the main causes of homelessness for systemically disadvantaged groups – the inability to secure lucrative, stable, long-term employment – while also responding to the shortages in the skilled trades that are needed to help confront the housing supply shortage over the long term.

In short, the program is designed to provide paid training opportunities in skilled trades to people at risk of homelessness, while also helping to increase the supply of affordable housing through renovating vacant and underused spaces into new affordable units.

"Every week, Raising the Roof hears from people in towns across Canada who are concerned about the sudden rise in homeless encampments, the spiraling cost of housing, and who want us to launch Reside in their communities," Soberano said.

"The biggest constraint on our ability to help them is finding enough capital to expand to meet the scope and scale of the challenges we are facing."

Soberano said Reside focuses on creating affordable purpose-built rental units that are no more than 80% of median market rent, and partners with local social service providers who maintain housing lists to ensure that people who need it most are able to move in and receive the supports they need to stay there for the long-term.

"Reside extends its social impact by using the renovations as an opportunity to provide supportive training opportunities in the skilled construction trades for people facing systemic barriers to employment and who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," he said.

Raising the Roof was one of 10 organizations to receive a $1 million grant through the 2023 TD Ready Challenge. The Challenge is a signature annual initiative of the Bank's corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment. For 2023, the grants for this initiative were directed to 10 finalists: non-profit and charitable organizations involved in developing innovative, impactful, and measurable solutions regarding access to affordable housing.

The 2023 TD Ready Challenge

The TD Ready Challenge is part of the Bank's longstanding commitment to helping create a more inclusive and sustainable future, and an annual signature program of its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment.

Each year, the TD Ready Challenge invites eligible organizations to submit applications about solutions they are working on that address that year's problem statement which is always connected to one or more of the four drivers of the TD Ready Commitment: Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. In previous years, the TD Ready Challenge problem statement has focused on helping to support solutions that drive more equitable health outcomes, promote income stability, tackle pandemic-related learning loss, and most recently address those most disproportionately impacted by climate change.

This year’s problem statement was focused on finding innovative solutions to help address systemic barriers to affordable housing across the continuum from transitional to permanent homes, and to help increase access to affordable and stable housing for those who need it most.

"At TD, helping drive progress towards a more inclusive and equitable tomorrow is a key focus," says Alicia Rose, AVP, Social Impact.

“Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank's corporate citizenship platform, we aim to enable individuals to feel financially knowledgeable as this is a known key driver towards equity. We recognize the impact access to housing can have on an individual’s health, physical security, and sense of economic well-being — which is why we're thrilled to help support the 2023 TD Ready Challenge grant recipients that are working on innovative solutions towards access to affordable housing.”

Breaking down barriers to accessible and affordable housing

With housing costs at an all-time high in Canada and the U.S., many face challenges and barriers to accessing affordable housing, including racialized and Indigenous communities, seniors, families with children, newcomers, veterans, low-income communities, and people with existing health conditions and/or disabilities.

For 2023, there were a total of 10 grants available through the TD Ready Challenge across North America. Eligible Canadian-based organizations were able to apply for CDN$1 million and eligible US-based organizations were able to apply for USD$1 million.

To learn more about the TD Ready Challenge Grant program, visit

See below about Raising the Roof’s Reside program and the nine other 2023 TD Ready Challenge recipients, as they describe their winning solutions in their own words:

Raising the Roof | Chez Toit - Reside: Empowering Marginalized People to Prevent Homelessness and Create Affordable Housing (Canada)

"Reside is an innovative program that renovates vacant and underused properties into long-term affordable homes for people who need them. It extends its social impact by using the renovations as an opportunity to provide supportive training opportunities in the skilled construction trades for people facing systemic barriers to employment and who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless."

Learn more about this program

Washington Housing Conservancy - Housing + Mobility + Equity Accelerator (HMEA) (Washington, DC, U.S.)

"The Housing + Mobility + Equity Accelerator (HMEA), a project of the Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) was developed to provide other cities with a blueprint for preserving affordable workforce housing. HMEA is uniquely focused on scaling WHC's model and increasing the supply of affordable rental apartment buildings for residents at greatest risk of being displaced from economically thriving neighborhoods."

Learn more about this program

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) - Empowering Latino Households: Building, Preserving, and Paving the Way to Affordable Housing Success (Texas, U.S.)

"NALCAB proposes a solution to address systemic housing exclusion for Latinos and has developed a coordinated trinary approach to advance economic mobility through affordable housing: Production, Preservation, and Pipeline (financial readiness). This project focuses on the third, and most important element of the strategy: building the financial wellness of potential homebuyers and renters."

Learn more about this program

The Native Women's Shelter of Montreal - Maison Miyoskamin (Quebec, Canada)

"Miyoskamin is a supportive housing program located in downtown Tiohtià:ke/Montreal providing 23 subsidized apartments for Indigenous women and their children. In addition to stable and affordable housing, Miyoskamin offers individual and empowering healing plans supplemented by educational, vocational, and cultural programming, as well as an on-site Community Social Pediatric Centre called Saralikitaaq."

Learn more about this program

Clarifi - A Multi-Intervention Strategy to Combat Barriers to Affordable Housing (Pennsylvania, U.S.)

"Clarifi is proposing a multi-intervention strategy to address barriers to affordable and sustainable housing for low-to-moderate income individuals and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Home ownership, home repair and financial resilience grants magnify the impact of our foundational financial empowerment counseling, equipping residents with more resources to overcome various housing affordability challenges."

Learn more about this program

Blue Door Support Services - Housing for All: Increased Affordable Housing and Tenant Supports (Ontario, Canada)

"To address the housing crisis, Blue Door's Housing for All Community Land Trust will create and hold affordable housing across York Region in perpetuity. Simultaneously Blue Door will pilot Dwell, an opportunity for individuals to build equity as tenants, ultimately addressing systemic barriers to affordable housing and increasing affordable, stable housing for our community's most vulnerable."

Learn more about this program

The Community Builders (TCB), Inc. - HOME ROOM: Economic Stability and Mobility Through Housing (Massachusetts, U.S.)

"TCB's HOME ROOM initiative will address the needs of residents facing chronic housing instability across two states and set them on a path to lasting housing and financial stability through a two-part approach, 1) Construction: increasing the supply of permanent supportive and affordable family housing, and 2) Wealth and Housing: place-based housing stability and economic mobility services through Community Life (CL)."

Learn more about this program


WoodGreen Community Housing - Affordable Housing Equity Jenga-Fund (Ontario, Canada)

"WoodGreen proposes an equity fund - the Affordable Housing Jenga-Fund - to provide start-up bridge financing to non-profits to steward, anchor and lead public, private partnerships to develop a new generation of much needed affordable housing.”

Learn more about this program

Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida - NHSSF Evergreen Initiatives: Preserving Homeownership by Dismantling Energy Inequities in LMI Communities of Color (Florida, U.S.)

"This initiative aims to dismantle energy inequities by expanding the green initiatives portfolio for the LMI BIPOC community, which includes catalyzing adoption of energy efficiency, clean energy, water conservation, and resiliency measures. It also includes all of NHSSF's business lines - from housing counseling, homeownership promotion and preservation, real estate development, and lending."

Learn more about this program

Fred Victor - Housing Hope: A pilot project to address systemic barriers and preserve rooming houses as deeply affordable transitional housing for homeless newcomers and refugees (Ontario, Canada)

"Fred Victor is proposing a three-year pilot that will retain rooming houses as a vital stream of affordable housing and meet the growing demand for transitional housing for homeless newcomers and refugees in Toronto. It addresses systemic challenges in affordable housing supply by leveraging a unique moment of new inclusionary zoning and municipal policy for rooming houses."

Learn more about this program

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