Roots to Roofs
Community Development Society
R2R strives to be a leading nonprofit resources group (including Cohousing Options Canada), co-creating resilient housing, energy, training, and planning solutions with communities. From project visioning and inception, to construction and on-going management, our partners’ desires direct our activities and we move together at the speed of trust.
Our work is driven by the urgent need for grounded climate and justice solutions.
“Collaboration is not about glueing together existing egos. It’s about the ideas that never existed until after everyone entered the room.”
Elders aging in place, Cohousing, Vulnerable members
Even before Covid-19 made things worse, many people in both urban and rural contexts face chronic housing issues, including Elders/Seniors, Indigenous peoples, young families, workers, youth aging out of care, and other vulnerable community members. Our research and expertise is focused on co-developing resilient neighbourhoods through high-performance, affordable, culturally appropriate, accessible, community-oriented housing.
The following video highlights our origins and Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative project.
Roots to Roofs emerged from a partnership forged in 2017 between T’Sou-ke Nation and CleanTech Community Gateway to investigate new housing opportunities and processes with seed funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Vancouver Foundation.
The work grew to explore not just the “hardware” of developing affordable, appropriate houses on reserve, but also the “software” of embedding the capacity within community members to build, maintain and operate the housing into the future. A partnership was established with the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers and the Aboriginal Skilled Workers Association for developing curriculum for Indigenous Trades training and high performance technical solutions, funded by CMHC. Part of this work identified the need for supportive, professional, nonprofit Resource Groups to support communities through the planning and complexities of developing housing.
The need for Resources Groups was reinforced by the work carried out by T’Sou-ke Centre for Sustainability, CTCG, and our partners from three First Nations in British Columbia, through the 2020 Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) award of Indigenous Services Canada. This project seeks to co-develop high performance, community-supportive housing for Elders Aging in Place and other vulnerable members. Resource groups like R2R have been found to be essential in enhancing the experience and knowledge that exists on reserve and complementing their unique Indigenous knowledge.
The R2R Community Development team is now a resource group of experts in engagement, planning, CoHousing, participatory design, grant writing, training, and high efficiency building (passive house and net-zero), making us valuable additional capacity for any community-based project.
Our resources group will provide expertise and training to cultivate integrated energy, construction, and community builders that can co-develop affordable, high-performance, appropriate housing and neighbourhoods. Our projects prioritize peoples’ needs, combine traditional and innovative approaches, and seek to enhance resilience and environmental stewardship.
Roots to Roofs Community Development Society has an emerging governance model based on sociocracy decision-making. The board Co-chairs will rotate facilitation of meeting functions, including regular board of directors’ meetings, annual general meeting and any special general meetings. Roots to Roofs strives to be inclusive, diverse, and non-gender affiliated in its operations. We are actively recruiting Board Members.
• We support community-led projects
• We strive for equity, diversity, and climate justice in our work
• We balance innovation with traditional wisdom
• We believe in integrated solutions
• We are people centred and collaborative
• We recognize our role as environmental stewards
• We are all mentors and mentees
• We co-care for each other, Elders, young ones and the community
• We are accountable and ethical
• We aim to cultivate both independence and interdependence by leveraging client community’s comprehensive plans, while staying arms length from politics
• We focus on regenerative solutions that build and strengthen our systems