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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: we all need an affordable home to thrive.

In an effort to scale needed housing solutions, Enterprise and the Wells Fargo Foundation launched a new $20 million competition in January 2023. The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge will identify and propel implementation-ready innovations that transform current practices and reimagine access to affordable homes.


Congratulations finalists!
Sixteen finalists advance to the third
and final round featuring a live pitch competition.

  Meet the Finalists  


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.

Otis Rolley, 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
Jacqueline Waggoner speaking
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
A man standing in between the walls of an exhibit reading the content

Housing Innovations Exhibit

“A Better Way Home” celebrates our inaugural winners of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge through a dynamic exhibit at the National Building Museum on view through October 16. Since opening in fall 2022, the exhibit has drawn over 17,000 visitors to explore what Fast Company called “six winning programs, each a replicable idea that can make more and better affordable housing.” 

A woman talks 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
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