Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge

Round 2 of the challenge is closed. On June 29, we’ll announce the 15 finalists moving to Round 3. Stay tuned!

Woman standing at a whiteboard

Three Pillars of Innovation

The challenge will scale promising ideas, models and approaches across three focus areas.
Housing Construction
Housing Finance
Housing Finance
Resident Services & Support
Resident Services & Support

Challenge Timeline

The challenge features three rounds, culminating with the announcement of the final six winners by July 31, 2020.

Round 2

March 18 - May 15, 2020

Round 2 applications were due May 15, 2020. On June 29, 15 applicants will be invited to Round 3.  

coworking space

Round 3

July 6 - September 21, 2020

Round 3 will feature a pitch event and conclude with the announcement of the six winners by September 21, 2020.


Round 1

January 15 - February 19, 2020

Round 1 applications were due February 19, 2020. On March 17, 45 applicants were invited to join Round 2. 

2 women

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the challenge still accepting applications?
An aerial picture of a garden

No, the deadline for Round 1 of the challenge was Feb. 19, 2020. Thank you to all who applied. Rounds 2 and 3 are by invitation only.

What if I started my application in SlideRoom but did not submit it — can I still do so?
Couple with home

No, if you started an application but did not complete and submit it by February 19, 2020, you may not submit it.

How is “affordable housing” defined in the challenge?
Kebero Court

We understand that affordability varies based on multiple factors, including geography and market conditions. We’re looking for innovations that address the needs of low- to moderate-income households, and will prioritize proposals serving 60 percent of area median income (AMI) and below. At the same time, we will exercise flexibility up to 80% AMI based on the nature of the idea (e.g., rental vs. homeownership) and market context. We also will consider mixed-income strategies in which its estimated that the innovation will serve a majority of households at or below 60 percent AMI.

Can organizations submit more than one application?
Picture of roof top and the ocean view in Puerto Rico

Organizations can submit more than one application. However, only one application per idea will be allowed. In other words, organizations can submit multiple unique ideas to the same focus area. Organizations may also submit multiple unique ideas across different focus areas. However, we will not accept applications from different organizations for the same idea. Organizations must coordinate with their partners to determine one lead applicant. Finally, although organizations are permitted to submit more than one application, we strongly encourage you to prioritize your best ideas and submit one application.

My innovation overlaps with two different focus areas. Can I apply for more than one focus area?
A little boy holding a marker.

No. You must select one primary focus area that best aligns with your innovation. The application does allow you to specify if your innovation overlaps with another focus area. However, there is no advantage or preference given to innovations that address more than one focus area.

What are the eligible expenses covered by this grant?

The grant funding is flexible and can be used for operational, programmatic and capital expenses.

See how breakthrough ideas grow into scalable solutions.
New affordable home next to one under construction in New Orleans, LA"