Crosscut: Green group turns attention to affordable housing

An organization best known for saving large natural areas in rural areas is taking on a new task: affordable housing in the city. Forterra, formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy, is launching a new partnership to address housing issues with the social service and cultural organization, El Centro de la Raza.

Forterra unveiled the collaboration at its annual fundraising breakfast recently in front of 1,400-plus people, many of whom were presumably at least a bit surprised.

It’s certainly a change from what Forterra has done, brokering large purchases of undeveloped lands and development rights in some of the Puget Sound region’s major efforts to protect open space and forest lands. Among those projects have been the state’s purchase of 50,000 acres in the Teanaway River Valley near Cle Elum and negotiating the deal that saved the old Glacier site on the shore of Maury Island as a King County natural area, rather than a massive gravel mine.

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