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The national housing shortage continues to make headlines. Estimates on the number of homes needed to close the gap run in the millions. But one thing is clear: without a stable, affordable place to call home, it’s impossible to thrive.

In an effort to scale needed housing solutions, Enterprise and the Wells Fargo Foundation have teamed up to launch a new $20 million competition. The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge will identify and propel implementation-ready innovations that transform current practices and reimagine access to affordable homes.

Eligible applicants are competing for individual grants of $1 million, $2 million and $3 million to scale ideas that lay the groundwork for system-wide change. Winners also will receive two years of technical assistance to turn their ideas into real-world programs.


Round 1 of the challenge is now closed.
We received over 400 innovation proposals.
Round 2 finalists will be announced in early May.

Missed our virtual information session?
Watch the Recording


Otis Rolley, Wells Fargo President of Wells Fargo Foundation and Head of Philanthropy and Community Impact, standing and speaking at a podium

Wells Fargo’s support of the 2023 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is another opportunity to engage entrepreneurs and social innovators and advance ideas that can improve housing opportunities for millions.

We urgently need to reimagine access to quality affordable places to live in the U.S., which is so tightly linked to economic stability, physical and mental health, and ultimately generational wealth.

– Otis Rolley, President of Wells Fargo Foundation and Head of Philanthropy and Community Impact


We cast a wide net, inviting a range of organizations to apply:

  • Organizations with a 501(c)(3) status
  • Mission-oriented for-profits
  • Government-affiliated organizations, housing authorities and housing finance agencies with a 501(c)(3) entity
  • Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs)
  • Tribal Housing Authorities

Eligible Markets

United States map with 37 eligible states and the District of Columbia shaded in blue for the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge



See the list of eligible markets

Jacqueline Waggoner speaking and talking with her hands
The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge has proven that investing in pathbreaking innovations at the local level is a powerful way to build more equity and affordability in our communities nationwide.
Jacqueline Waggoner, President, Solutions Division, Enterprise
The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge Exhibit at the National Museum

Celebrating Housing Innovations

Launched in 2020, the inaugural Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge named six winners whose innovations have made an impact in communities across the United States. The winners and their housing solutions are currently on display in “A Better Way Home,” a free exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

A woman talking to a group of people sitting around a table
See how we invest in solutions

Seeding Innovation

A Look at the First Challenge

Winners of the 2020 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge are moving forward in exciting ways: breaking ground, setting down homes, and scaling to new geographies. See the breadth, reach and impact of their ideas – and how an engaged cohort made a pivotal difference for these housing innovators.

The support, encouragement and expectations allowed us to develop something very innovative in a short period of time.

Natasha Pallan, Center for NYC Neighborhoods, 2020 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge Winner
Frequently Asked Questions
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