December 10, 2019

Announcing the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge

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In an exciting new collaboration, Enterprise and Wells Fargo have teamed up to create the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge – a bold initiative designed to spark innovations that transform creative housing affordability ideas into real solutions.

A collaboration presented by Enterprise Community Partners with generous financial support from Wells Fargo, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge invites innovators to participate in a competitive application process with an opportunity to receive a grant to further scalable housing affordability solutions that specifically address one of the challenge’s three focus areas:

Housing Construction

Housing Financing

Resident Services and Support

“Our work to create and preserve well-designed affordable homes and advance opportunity around the country has shown us that the most promising solutions emerge when innovation combines with creative capital, systemic change and community engagement,” said Enterprise Community Partners Senior Vice President of National Initiatives Melinda Pollack. “Enterprise is proud to collaborate with the Wells Fargo Foundation to elevate and scale promising new ideas through the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge.”

Upcoming Grant Period

As administrator of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, Enterprise will coordinate the three-stage competitive request for proposals (RFP) based on feasibility, creativity and impact at scale of the ideas. The first-round RFP will be made available in mid-January. Fifteen finalists will participate in a pitch competition in advance of naming the final six grant recipients by July 31, 2020.

Total Awards

The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge will award grants to six entities. Each grant will comprise more than $2 million in grant dollars as well as provide technical assistance over a two-year period. In addition, each of the final six grantees will have the opportunity to collaborate with a dedicated support team of Enterprise staff and other leaders in affordable housing and community development to help turn concepts into action.

Key Dates for the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge

Enterprise and Wells Fargo will co-host two optional informational webinars for potential applicants to learn more about eligibility, the three program areas and the application process.

Webinar: Understanding the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge RFP Process

Request for Proposals (RFP)

  • First-Round RFP released
    January 15, 2020
  • First-Round RFP due
    February 19, 2020
  • Final six grant recipients announced
    July 31, 2020

A Larger, Philanthropic Commitment to Affordable Housing

As part of Wells Fargo’s $1 billion commitment to address housing affordability nationwide over the next six years, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge seeks to provide catalytic investment in support of innovative and scalable housing affordability solutions.

"Together with Enterprise Community Partners, we will engage with creative innovators who have know-how, technical skill, imagination and with catalytic investment can transform housing affordability ideas into real action on the ground,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “With the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, we are bringing forward our financial resources combined with our business expertise to inspire vitally needed scalable and effective housing affordability solutions.”

In addition to identifying and scaling promising proposals, the challenge seeks to provide peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities, along with disseminating ideas and models that engage a wider audience of stakeholders in the search for housing affordability.

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