Fannie Mae Commits $5M To 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge

Fannie Mae has committed $5 million to its second annual Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), the GSE announced.

The challenge seeks to “attract innovative ideas that will help advance racial equity in housing,” according to the press release. Fannie Mae will receive proposals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as from individuals and teams. 

Proposals should address supply, funding, and credit barriers.

IC22 is part of the GSE’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation Initiative, which helps to develop collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities.

“Fannie Mae is proud to launch the next iteration of the Innovation Challenge and support innovative projects that promote racial equity in housing in the United States,” said Maria Evans, Vice President of Community Impact, Fannie Mae. 

“The housing journey varies depending on who you are, with some people experiencing multiple obstacles as they try to access housing. The Innovation Challenge aims to address those barriers. Advancing greater equity in housing is rooted in Fannie Mae’s mission and integral to our environmental, social, and governance strategy. We are excited to collaborate with new partners to source innovative ideas that help underrepresented populations find quality, affordable, stable places to call home.”

IC22 will award contracts to those with proposals for projects that remove barriers for many households, including Black households, from buying or renting a home.

Proposals can be submitted through June 17, 2022, and should answer the following questions:

  • How will you address the insufficient supply of quality affordable housing options by creating, preserving, or increasing the availability of affordable homes to purchase or rent in sustainable communities for very low-, low-, and moderate-income borrowers and renters?
  • How will you address insufficient funds for security deposits, down payments, closing costs, and reserves for unexpected costs related to renting or purchasing a home?
  • How will you address the obstacles faced by many households, including Black households, of low credit scores and credit invisibility?

Proposals will be evaluated through multiple rounds of review, including a semi-final review by an Expert Advisory Panel comprised of leaders from public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Fannie Mae will make final contract decisions.

More information can be found here.