March 19, 2020

Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge Names 45 Finalists

People at a whiteboard

With nearly 900 applications received, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge has moved to Round 2, advancing 45 finalists to the next stage of this national competition designed to transform innovative ideas into scalable solutions.  

The finalists represent a diverse group of organizations whose inspiring proposals envision new frameworks and approaches across the challenge’s three focus areas:

  • Housing Construction
  • Housing Financing
  • Resident Services & Support. 

“The 885 applications we received are a testament to the strength and imagination of the national affordable housing and community development network,” said Enterprise Senior Vice President Melinda Pollack.  

45: How We Got There  

A group of 30 Enterprise leaders with field expertise across the challenge’s three focus areas – as well as knowledge of urban, rural, suburban and tribal communities – recently convened for three days to thoughtfully identify the Round 2 finalists who presented creative ideas with the most innovative, viable and scalable housing affordability solutions.

The consensus-driven process was both intensive and essential, according to Christi Smith, Enterprise Senior Program Director of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge. 

“Having expertise from different geographies and across many lines of business allowed us to engage in a thoughtful and highly informed decision-making process,” said Smith. 

The full list of 45 finalists is available on the challenge’s website. 

Why We Launched the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge

Nationwide, there is a growing need to create more affordable places for individuals and families to call home. That demand reflects the impetus and inspiration behind the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge. 

Administered by Enterprise and made possible by the generous support of Wells Fargo, the challenge will award six grants of $2 million each, supported by technical assistance from Enterprise, over a two-year period. 

Because housing affordability looks different in rural areas, tribal communities, cities and suburbs, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge cast a wide national net, inviting proposals from nonprofit and for-profit entities in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

What’s Next for the Challenge  

The 45 Round 2 finalists will be invited to delve deeper into the implementation and impact of their innovative ideas as well as the team behind it. Of the 45 Round 2 finalists, 15 will be named to Round 3 of the challenge on May 21, 2020.  

Each of the 15 Round 3 finalists will be part of a two-day pitch event scheduled in late June, depending on the COVID-19 situation. Each finalist will take the stage to tell the story of their ideas before a distinguished panel of judges representing some of the most respected leaders in the affordable housing and community development sectors.  

The final six winners of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge will be announced on August 4, 2020. 

How You Can Stay Involved 

Visit for the latest news and updates about the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge.  

Sign up, stay in touch and be inspired. There’s so much good work ahead.  

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