Wells Fargo, Enterprise Community Partners call for housing affordability breakthrough ideas

Winning proposals can get more than $2 million grants each

Wells Fargo, Enterprise Community Partners call for housing affordability breakthrough ideas

Wells Fargo has teamed up with the Enterprise Community Partners to search for the most innovative, scalable, and viable ideas to address housing affordability problems across the country.

The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge seeks ideas that focus on one of three areas: housing construction, housing financing, and resident services and support.

Open to applicants in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, proposals may cover single-family or multifamily housing. The challenge also welcomes ideas that can assist homeowners, renters, or any sector of the community, including children, youth, families, and seniors.

Winning proposals will receive six grants of more than $2 million each along with two years of technical assistance from Enterprise to help turn the grantees' concepts into reality.

“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,” said Melinda Pollack, senior vice president of national initiatives at Enterprise. “This incredible commitment from Wells Fargo will elevate and scale promising new ideas that will create real change for the millions of families who lack access to quality affordable homes nationwide.”

The deadline for the first-round submission of proposals is Feb. 19. Enterprise will then facilitate a review to pick up to 40 finalists for the second-round request for proposals. Only 15 finalists will join the challenge's third and final round, including participating in a pitch competition. Wells Fargo and Enterprise will name the final six grant recipients this summer.

"Together with Enterprise Community Partners, we will engage with creative innovators who have know-how, technical skill, imagination — and with catalytic investment — can transform housing affordability ideas into real action on the ground,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “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.”