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Press Release

Fannie Mae Issues $5 Million ‘Innovation Challenge’ to Help Advance Racial Equity in Housing

May 16, 2022
Fannie Mae Now Accepting Proposals for Innovative, Scalable Ideas that Address Barriers in the Home Rental and Buying Experience

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae today announced the launch of its 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), the company’s second such initiative, committing $5 million to attract innovative ideas that will help advance racial equity in housing. The company expects to receive proposals from across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and from individuals and teams focused on addressing supply, funding, and credit barriers.

“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.”

The Innovation Challenge is part of Fannie Mae’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation initiative, which focuses on developing collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities. IC22 will award contracts to organizations, companies, and individuals implementing or scaling projects that remove barriers currently preventing many households, including Black households, from purchasing or renting a home.

The Call for Ideas window will be open through June 17, 2022. Fannie Mae encourages proposals that respond to 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 against a predetermined set of criteria set forth in the Call for Ideas and will go 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.

To learn more about IC22, including eligibility requirements, or to submit an idea, please visit

About Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae advances equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality, affordable rental housing for millions of people across America. We enable the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and drive responsible innovation to make homebuying and renting easier, fairer, and more accessible. To learn more, visit: | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube | Blog

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