Skip to main content
Readychallenge hero24
• 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 housing projects off the ground.

"This is no longer an issue that is just impacting the margins of society. This is now an issue for everyone, and the solution is going to require everyone," said Stephanie Garrett-Stearns, the Community Builders (TCB) vice president of communications and fund development. "We all have a stake in finding solutions to keep ourselves, our families, and our neighbors stably housed and contributing to our communities."

TCB, based in Boston, Massachusetts, was one of 10 organizations to receive a $1 million grant through the 2023 TD Ready Challenge. The Ready 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 for access to affordable housing.

The Boston organization will use the grant to fund its HOME ROOM initiative, which is designed to address the housing crisis by targeting the needs of residents facing chronic housing instability in Boston and New Haven, Connecticut with permanent housing.

HOME ROOM will renovate existing motel rooms and buildings into new homes.

"We believe that by using existing buildings, it gets people out of shelters and into housing faster – it just makes sense," Stephanie said. "We know that this is the least expensive, most efficient way to provide support outside of short-term emergency shelter for people who are without homes."

HOME ROOM also will provide residents services that promote economic health through a place-based housing stability and economic mobility service through TCB's Community Life program.

"Residents in HOME ROOM will be able to establish and build credit by paying their rent on time," Stephanie said. "It allows them to establish escrow savings accounts and build assets for the future. The Community Life coaching will help them set goals now and for the future."

This program emerged from a pilot which received funding from TD Charitable Foundation's Housing for Everyone program in 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. During the first year of the pilot, 85 percent of residents had an escrow savings account averaging $5,000; 79 percent of children ages three to five were enrolled in good preschools; and 77 percent of participants improved their credit score by an average of 26 points.

"We need leaders like TD to support housing innovators like TCB to find real solutions for homelessness," Stephanie said. "Everyone has an opportunity to improve themselves once they have a stable place to call home. We are all invested in finding solutions."

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 a signature program within its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment.

Each year, the TD Ready Challenge invites eligible organizations to submit applications that offer solutions to a problem statement that is 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..

"Having a safe and stable place to call home is central to overall wellbeing. The lack of affordable housing causes serious ripple effects that impact everything from health outcomes to educational opportunities to overall financial security," said Shelley Sylva, Head of U.S. Corporate Citizenship at TD Bank. "Part of the goal of the TD Ready Challenge is to uplift and support nonprofits in their innovative efforts to enrich the communities where we live and work, and I am incredibly proud of the five U.S. recipients and the impact I know they're going to have on so many across our footprint in the years to come."

Breaking down barriers to accessible and affordable housing

With housing costs at an all-time high in the U.S. and Canada, many face challenges and barriers to accessing affordable housing.

This year's problem statement also helps deliver on the bank's Social Framework, TD Pathways to Economic Inclusion, which focuses the bank's efforts on improving employment access, financial access, and housing access.

For 2023, there were 10 grants available under the TD Ready Challenge across North America. Eligible US-based organizations were able to apply for $1 million (USD) and Canadian organizations were able to apply for $1 million (CDN). To learn more about the 2023 TD Ready Challenge Grant program, visit

Learn more about The Community Builders and the nine 2023 TD Ready Challenge recipients below, as they describe their winning submission in their own words:

The Community Builders Inc. - HOME ROOM: Economic Stability and Mobility Through Housing

"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."

Learn more about this program

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

"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)

"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

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

"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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to learn more about Our Communities?
TD Awards $5 Million to U.S. Organizations Addressing Systemic Barriers to Affordable Housing
TD Bank's Community Mortgage Loan Officers Making Homeownership Dreams a Reality
Community Impact Plan 2024

Join our newsletter

Sign up for the latest updates from TD Stories delivered to your inbox twice a week.

See you in a bit

You are now leaving our website and entering a third-party website over which we have no control.

Continue to site Return to TD Stories

Neither TD Bank US Holding Company, nor its subsidiaries or affiliates, is responsible for the content of the third-party sites hyperlinked from this page, nor do they guarantee or endorse the information, recommendations, products or services offered on third party sites.

Third-party sites may have different Privacy and Security policies than TD Bank US Holding Company. You should review the Privacy and Security policies of any third-party website before you provide personal or confidential information.