Fannie Mae launched its 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22) and committed $5 million to attract “innovative ideas” that will help advance racial equity in housing, the company announced this week.

Here are the basics of the challenge: IC22 will award deliverable-based, fee-for-service contracts to organizations that are implementing or scaling projects that address three barriers that disproportionally affect Black people on their housing journey: 

  • Supply: insufficient supply of quality affordable housing options for Black renters and aspiring homebuyers who have been historically underserved by the housing finance system
  • Funding: insufficient funds for security deposits, down payments, closing costs, and reserves for unexpected costs
  • Credit: lower credit scores and credit invisibility

This is the second iteration of the GSE’s efforts, building on the previous nationwide challenge that awarded over $7 million to advance innovative projects that linked affordable housing to education, health and economic opportunities, according to its website. 

The challenge is part of its Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation initiative, which focuses on developing collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities.

FNMA expects to receive proposals from across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The “call for ideas” will be open through June 17. The selection process consists of several phases, with contracts for awardees being executed at the end of this year. 

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