A Better Way Home: The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge

Closing January 15, 2024

Home and community matter most. Yet in so many neighborhoods across the country, rising housing costs and interest rates have put homeownership out of reach for growing numbers of families. Nationally, 10.5 million households spend more than half their earnings on rent, forcing families to make difficult trade-offs that compromise their health and well-being. But the problem is bigger than supply and demand. Legacies of racist policies and practices have disproportionately excluded and jeopardized communities of color from the opportunities that come with a stable, affordable home.

How can we break through barriers to ensure everyone has access to an affordable home where they can thrive? A Better Way Home presents six bold solutions that challenge how we confront housing affordability in the U.S.

“All families are the same – when we ask them why they want a home, they say, ‘lo quiero para mis hijos’ – I want it for my children.” – Linda Marín, cdcb | come dream. come build.

In 2019, Wells Fargo joined the national nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners to launch a $20 million grant competition to transform how affordable housing is built, financed, and serves and supports residents. Three years in, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge has propelled and amplified six winning ideas designed to reimagine housing affordability from each of three categories in urgent need of solutions—Resident Services and Support, Financing, and Construction.

In A Better Way Home, visitors can explore the vision and early impact of the six featured innovations through personal stories, infographics, and media presented within the framework of small-scale “houses.” At the conclusion of the exhibition, all are invited to reflect on the power of a stable, affordable home, and brainstorm how we can engage and better support opportunities for neighbors to thrive in our own communities – toward making homes more affordable, available, and sustainable nationwide.

The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge winners are:

Resident Services and Support:

Designing Trauma-Resilient Communities directly engages people who live and work in affordable housing to create an environment that embodies safety, trust, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.

The Homecoming Project is a unique model of reentry housing that pairs people leaving prison after lengthy sentences with local homeowners. The project’s goal for every participant is a healthy, self-supported, and community-oriented lifestyle.



Health + Housing develops affordable homes paired with community health services by sourcing low-cost financing from health insurers, such as Medicaid managed care organizations.

Underwriting for Good leverages new technology and alternative credit data to close the racial homeownership gap and ensure all families have equitable access to fair and affordable mortgage terms. .



Forest to Home transforms the home delivery supply chain to deliver beautiful, affordable homes built by local craftspeople using sustainably managed cross-laminated timber.

MiCASiTA is an affordable, sustainable modular home solution that can expand as a homebuyer’s income, credit, and family grow, providing homeowners with agency and choice and the opportunity to build equity and wealth.


A Better Way Home: The Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is generously supported by: