NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University was awarded a $20,000 grant from TD Bank through the TD Charitable Foundation, TD Bank’s charitable giving arm, to fund development of the next-generation affordable tiny houses by students and faculty in the College of Professional Schools School of Architecture + Art through Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative. 

Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative (the Collaborative) calls on students to “act as well as conceive” to create solutions for local, regional, and global challenges. The grant will support a new Collaborative program that will develop regionally derived and affordable permanent supportive housing and nursing care and wrap-around services to Vermont’s vulnerable community members.

“We are proud to support Norwich's Design + Build housing initiative as it provides an opportunity to advance TD's social purpose to build sustainable, inclusive communities and make a lasting positive impact,” TD Bank Market President Phil Daniels said.

A continuing partnership with Washington County Mental Health Services and Downstreet Housing & Community Development (Downstreet) in Barre, Vermont, will enable the Collaborative to further develop, design, and build LIFT 2.0, a prototype new home based on “LIFT,” a custom-designed energy-efficient small home (approximately 300 square feet) built in 2019.

Through Norwich’s community nursing practicum, a School of Nursing senior student aided the LIFT design build team by providing education and research related to homelessness and mental illness to.

LIFT 2.0 will create refined permanent supportive housing that is more cost-effective and responds to data from a School of Nursing housing preference survey administered to homeless individuals with mental illness living in or near Washington County.

Also, a spring 2020 Design Thinking + Innovation class with architecture, engineering, and nursing faculty and students in partnership with Downstreet, Washington County Mental Health Services and the Vermont Agency of Human Services will investigate how to provide nursing care and wrap-around services for LIFT 2.0 residents and other vulnerable community members.

The Collaborative will design and build the LIFT 2.0 home to meet Downstreet, Washington County Mental Health Services and future residents’ needs and provide the construction documents to Downstreet for future additional permanent supportive housing units. 

“Working together, we will develop housing and services that benefit the most vulnerable Vermonters,” Design+Build Collaborative Director Cara Armstrong said. “Studies show that for someone with a mental health condition, the lack of safe and affordable housing is one of the most powerful barriers to recovery.

This contribution supports TD’s longstanding commitment to community enrichment through The Ready Commitment, TD's corporate citizenship platform.

The Ready Commitment actively promotes inclusivity, economic vitality, environmental wellbeing and health, enabling people of all backgrounds to succeed in a rapidly changing world. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets $775 million by 2030 toward community giving in four critical areas: financial security, a more vibrant planet, connected communities and better health.  

Through this platform, TD aspires to create a more inclusive tomorrow — helping people of all backgrounds feel more confident, not just about their finances, but about their ability to achieve their goals. Visit:

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About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $222 million through nearly 21,000 grants through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at

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Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Capt. Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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Daphne Larkin
Office of Communications
Norwich University
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