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Round 1 of the 2023 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is closed. We received more than 400 housing innovation proposals. Round 2 finalists will be announced in early May.

Watch the webinar recording of our virtual information session to learn more.

Three Focus Areas

We invited Round 1 applicants to submit proposals for housing innovations best aligned with one of three focus areas: Construction, Financing, and Access and Resident Support.

Two construction workers wearing yellow vests talking to each other


A woman in a teal dress typing on a keyboard and looking at the computer screen


Three women sitting at a table in an outdoor courtyard talking


A room being built inside a warehouse and lifted by a specialized lifting equipment

Construction affordability through creativity, efficiency and resiliency

Construction innovations must introduce transformative practices, processes or new materials that will create construction efficiency, streamline supply chains, bolster climate resiliency, or reduce building costs


A woman at a bank sitting at a desk helping a customer on the other side

Financing: expanding access, increasing resources, and minimizing risk

Financing innovations must introduce new tools or strategies to transform or offer alternatives to current practices, broadening access to capital, unlocking or leveraging financial resources, and creating a more equitable housing market for renters and homebuyers


A woman working with and guiding a man with blindness or low vision using a white cane

Access and Resident Support: expanding choice, improving service delivery and addressing housing injustices

Access and Resident Support innovations must introduce new processes or models that improve the housing experience for residents, such as housing access, choice, and stability, advancing fair housing, promoting personal agency and creating pathways for upward mobility


A community center in the Hilltop neighborhood with a colorful mural on the upper level of the building
We’re not coming in to save the community. The community is strong. And all this deep knowledge lives in their hands, minds and hearts.
Jeffrey Dade, Former Community Development Director, Forterra, 2020 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge Winner

 Missed our virtual information session? 

Watch the Recording

Round 1: Important Details


We asked innovators to meet the following criteria in order for their applications to move onto the official scoring process. 

Location: Innovation must be executed in a specific geography (see list of eligible markets)

Affordability: Innovation must serve a majority (+51%) of residents at these income levels:

  • Rental: 80% AMI or below
  • Homeownership: 120% AMI or below

Organizational Eligibility: Lead organization must be one of the following entities:

  • Organization with 501(c)(3) status
  • Mission-oriented for-profit able to demonstrate impact in communities
  • Quasi-governmental organization, Housing Authority and Housing Finance Agency with 501(c)(3) entity
  • Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE)
  • Tribal Housing Authority

The Round 1 application will be scored based on a total of 50 points with three overarching criteria:

  • Efficacy and feasibility (30 points)
    • Is this transformative? (5 points)
    • Is this possible? (5 points)
    • Demonstrated cost savings and/or additional resources (5 points)
    • Demonstrated time savings and/or process efficiencies (5 points)
    • Resident impact (5 points)
    • Innovation scalability (5 points)
  • Alignment with the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge’s priorities (10 points)
    • Environmental sustainability, if applicable (5 points)
    • Racial equity (5 points)
  • Readiness (10 points)
    • Clarity on use of resources and implementation (5 points)
    • Project team readiness (5 points) 

Round 1 applications were due March 3, 2023. Innovators selected to move onto Round 2 of the challenge will be announced in early May.

Frequently Asked Questions
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Learn more about the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge