As homeless populations soar, housing inventory drops 10.5 percent in Q3 2017 compared to the same time last year, and home prices continuing to rise, the demand for affordable housing in the U.S. is evident.
In Seattle—whose state has seen a 14 percent increase in its homeless population over the past two years—Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office recently announced $100 million in affordable housing investments across the city. Oakland, CA is currently seeking $65 million to fund affordable housing projects, and across the country in Durham, NC, the Department of Community Development is prioritizing funding for an initiative helping find homes for the homeless.
Add to these affordable housing programs and initiatives a new $10 million opportunity from Fannie Mae.
Fannie Mae’s Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (The Challenge) will help address the affordable housing crisis in America by committing $10 million over two years to attract innovative solutions for affordable housing issues. The company is seeking proposals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
This comes less than a month after the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it would increase the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018, a week after Fannie and Freddie announced they would freeze evictions during the holiday season, and on the same day both entities released their Underserved Markets Plans for 2018-2020 as part of the Duty to Serve program.
The Challenge has three phases, the first of which is currently accepting proposals through February 23, 2018 and seeks ideas to:
- Expand access to affordable housing in sustainable communities where strong employment opportunities are typically accompanied by high housing costs; and
- Improve access to quality employment opportunities for residents of existing affordable housing, while making sure housing is affordable to more people.
To learn more, please, visit http://www.fanniemae.com/thechallenge/.