Fannie Mae chooses proposals for Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge


Fannie Mae announced today it has selected three ideas for phase one of its Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge, which aims to address the nation’s affordable housing issues. 

The selected proposals for the $10 million challenge come from Florida, Ohio and Colorado.

The ideas focus on expanding affordable housing development and onsite health care workforce training; accessory dwelling unit development as an affordable housing option for residents in gentrifying neighborhoods; and transforming vacant commercial property into entrepreneurial co-housing in low-income communities, according to Fannie Mae.

“We received hundreds of proposals from across the U.S., and these ideas reflect the most innovative thinking on creative ways to increase opportunities for local residents,” said Maria Evans, Fannie Mae’s VP of sustainable communities partnership and innovation. “We look forward to working with the selected organizations and their community partners to make a difference in tackling the affordability crisis and supporting sustainable, healthy communities.”

Fannie Mae says phase one of the challenge focuses on supporting the research, design and development of new ideas and innovation to improve affordable housing and employment.

“Fannie Mae decided to focus the first round of the challenge at the intersection of affordable housing and employment opportunities, because we believe that housing can be the platform to successful employment and potential income generation, a prevalent theme emphasized in our three selected proposals,” Evans said.

These are the selected proposals for phase one of the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge:

  •       Florida Housing Coalition

A nonprofit, state-wide membership organization based in Tallahassee thats mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all Floridians have a quality, affordable home and a suitable living environment.

Idea summary: Reuse vacant commercial space for entrepreneurial co-housing in low-income communities as an opportunity to advance local economies and stabilize housing costs.

  •      Nationwide Children’s Hospital

A top-10 pediatric system based in Columbus, Ohio, that leads Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families programs in housing, workforce education, safety and wellness.

Idea summary: Expand a newly developed affordable workforce housing development with an integrated onsite healthcare workforce training program, and offer affordable rental housing within one mile of the hospital.

  •    West Denver Renaissance Collaborative

A developer based in Denver that is sponsored by the Denver Housing Authority and serves low-income homeowners.

These proposals were evaluated against a predetermined set of criteria and were reviewed intensely by an expert advisory panel comprised of leaders from public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Here are the panelists chosen to be on the expert advisory panel:

  • Danielle Goonan, Walmart
  • Carla Javits, REDF
  • Dorothy Kilroy, Airbnb
  • Nicolas Lopez, HCAP Partners
  • Lucretia Murphy, Jobs for the Future
  • Jennifer Roberts, former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Graham Schell, Home Depot
  • Alice Shobe, Amazon

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