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Fannie Mae Issues $5 Million to Help Advance Racial Equity in Housing

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, VP 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."

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.

"Advancing greater equity in housing is rooted in Fannie Mae's mission and integral to our environmental, social, and governance strategy," said Evans. "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 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, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years' writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aesthete and loves to read. She can be reached at [email protected]

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