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October 1, 2020
Forterra was recently awarded $2.5 million in cash and assistance to further develop its prototype for affordable modular housing made out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). The local nonprofit has been working on the idea for over two years. The $2 million in direct funding, plus two years of future technical assistance, came from Enterprise Community Partners and Wells Fargo. The grant came of out their $12 million Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, which received over 900 applications. (The other five recipients ranged from Texas to New York.) Forterra CEO Michelle Connor said in a statement, “This award enables our region to connect the well-being of rural and urban communities, jobs and the health of our environment.” The hope is that CLT for affordable housing can be sourced from rural timber towns such as Hamilton and Roslyn, and create new jobs in communities of color in Tacoma and Tukwila. (Related: Forterra just announced a plan to buy 30 acres in Roslyn.) Forterra's partners in the CLT effort include Mithun and Aspect Structural Engineers.