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Construction & Design

Fannie Mae launches $10M challenge to build healthy houses

Fannie Mae has issued a call for ideas on healthy affordable housing as part of it part of its Innovation Challenge to build homes that are good for you.

Research shows that poor quality housing can have a direct, negative impact on a person’s health. In underserved communities, affordable housing and health outcomes of residents are inextricably linked.
The Innovation Challenge is a two-year, $10 million commitment to source new ideas through entering into contracts for services outside of Fannie Mae and its traditional partners.

The program aims to support and accelerate the development of promising solutions that serve communities in different ways.

“At Fannie Mae, we are committed to increasing access to healthy, affordable housing,” said Fannie Mae’s executive vice president and head of multifamily Jeffery Hayward.

“The Innovation Challenge addresses the evolving needs of homebuyers, homeowners, and renters where they overlap with health and wellness issues. Access to affordable homes that keep residents safe and healthy is a critical industry issue, and one that requires us to look at how housing and health impact each other in order to find the best solutions.”

“We recognize the value in breaking down silos to work with new partners on issues that are inextricably linked to affordable housing in order to create comprehensive solutions,” said Fannie Mae’s Vice President of Sustainable Communities Maria Evans.

“We are fostering sustainable communities by incubating innovative ideas that directly address our mission to bring affordability and stability to underserved areas and help ensure those residents have access to healthy, affordable, safe places to call home.”

The Innovation Challenge is looking for ideas that respond to the following categories:

• How might we use innovative technology and design to improve affordable homes to better support health, promote overall wellness, or prevent disease and illness?

• How might we leverage finance vehicles to incentivize the creation of affordable homes that promote health and wellness?

• How might we foster design that promotes diverse, sustainable, multigenerational affordable communities in which all individuals can remain a vibrant part of their community through every stage of life?

For more information about The Innovation Challenge and to apply, visit

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