Forest to Home

Creating local, affordable housing built by local labor with resources from local forestlands.


What is Forterra’s Forest to Home model?

Forterra’s Forest to Home model is a means for creating local affordable housing built by local labor with resources from regional forestlands. It strives for a triple bottom line of social equity, heathy forest management and economic development.

How does it work?

Forterra’s Forest to Home model begins with responsibly harvested local timber. At the Darrington Wood Innovation Center, timber will be milled and processed into cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT is the structural basis for the homes that are assembled on the Wood Innovation Center campus before being transported, nearly complete, to nearby building sites in Washington.

Forest to Home Graphic Explainer

Forterra Talks Forest to Home Fundamentals

Forterra president and CEO Michelle Connor, along with a team of international experts, explain Forterra’s innovative Forest to Home model.

“We talk about forests that are managed in ways that maintain the full array of functional capabilities. That means forests that are managed in ways that maintain other values that protect the watersheds, that provide wildlife habitat, that sequester carbon as well as provide wood for building homes.”
-Jerry Franklin, Professor of Ecosystem Analysis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington

Economic and Social Benefits

The $55 million 93.6-acre Darrington Wood Innovation Center will directly employ 150 people in family-wage jobs and reduce unemployment in Darrington. Forterra currently has Forest to Home projects under way in Tacoma, Tukwila and Hamilton. When finished, these projects alone will create hundreds of long-term affordable homes and help resist community displacement for its residents.


Click on each of the projects to learn more.

Darrington Wood Innovation Center
Cross Laminated Timber
Cooperative Housing


Forterra believes that the health of our smaller communities is vital to the sustainability of the Pacific Northwest. In 2019, Forterra launched SCF II to leverage investment in opportunity zones that will anchor communities and revitalize economies. Forterra’s forest-to-home model, enshrined in the Strong Communities Fund II, is an opportunity zone fund which invests in federally designated economically distressed areas. Visit Strong Communities Fund.

Forterra is a Washington-based nonprofit that enhances, supports, and stewards the region’s most precious resources—its communities and its ecosystems. Forterra conserves land, develops innovative policies, and supports sustainable rural and urban development. In its 30-year history, Forterra has helped conserve more than 250,000 acres, with its work stretching from the farmlands and river canyons of Yakima to the estuaries and forests of Washington’s coastline. Visit Forterra.

Kevin Max
Senior Director, Communications