About the Challenge

Identifying, accelerating and scaling the next generation of housing affordability solutions.

A grandmother and her grandchildren walking down the street holding umbrellas

The need for well-designed homes made affordable nationwide continues to exceed the supply. 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 seeks to close the affordable housing gap by connecting people across the United States to opportunity, starting with an affordable home. It will award six grants of more than $2,000,000 each, supported by technical assistance from Enterprise, over a two-year period to help turn grantees’ concepts into action.

The primary goals of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge are to:

  • Identify, accelerate and scale promising ideas, models and approaches
  • Provide peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities
  • Share ideas and models that engage a wider audience in the search for innovations

Because housing affordability looks different in rural communities, tribal communities, cities and suburbs, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is national in scope. It is open to applicants in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Two men on construction site directing a forklift

“Transformative change in communities happens when the best ideas are paired with the right mix of resources and technical know-how, and the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge allows us to do that six times over.”

─ Melinda Pollack, Senior Vice President of National Initiatives, Enterprise Community Partners

Three Programmatic Pillars

The challenge focuses on three pillars that are paramount to housing affordability:

  • Housing Finance
  • Housing Construction
  • Resident Services and Support

"With the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, we are bringing forward our financial resources combined with our business expertise to inspire vitally needed, scalable and effective housing affordability solutions."

─ Eileen Fitzgerald, Head of Housing Affordability Philanthropy, Wells Fargo Foundation

Three Rounds, Six Final Grantees

The challenge features three rounds, culminating in a pitch competition involving 15 finalists. The selected six grant recipients will be named this summer.

Grants will be awarded to two winners per each of the three focus areas: Housing Construction, Housing Finance, and Resident Services and Support.

The two-year awards will include $2,000,000 in direct grant assistance and $500,000 in technical assistance.

Ultimately, the challenge seeks a final cohort of grantees that represents a spectrum of breakthrough ideas for housing affordability, spanning different geographies, market situations, ideas and sponsors.

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