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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Access Ventures Launches $3 Million Affordable Housing Gap Competition

Access Ventures is launching a program to to address the housing gap in the United States.


Press Release – Access Ventures is launching a program to address the housing gap in the United States. For every 100 extremely low income renter, only 35 affordable and available rental homes exist- leaving an affordable housing gap of 7.2 million units. However, affordable housing is more than bricks and mortar or the payment of rent or a mortgage. Hidden costs related to transportation, utilities, insurance, food insecurity and more are tied into where a person lives and those hidden costs can often make the difference between housing stability and housing insecurity which leads to evictions.

According to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, in 2016, 4 households filed for eviction per minute in the United States. There were 14 evictions per day in Louisville in 106 – a rate of 4.82% – which is almost double the national average of 2.48%. In 2016 alone, there was a total of over 5,000 evictions in Louisville. In these scenarios, it’s not a lack of units that is the issue but the lack of affordability.

The Reconstruct Challenge is a $3 million national prize competition granting six innovations with $300,000 each and access to an executive education course. Winners will participate in a 18-month proof-of-concept phase where they will test their innovations in the Louisville and Southern Indiana region. After this period, successful innovations will have the opportunity to receive follow-on capital to further scale. $1 million will be reserved for this purpose. We are focused on finding solutions to help lower the exorbitant ancillary costs for individuals experiencing housing insecurity.

We are really excited to launch this challenge because we know that these costs can be the difference between a family staying in their home or being evicted. If we can identify solutions that address these ancillary costs and help test and scale them, we have the potential to impact the affordable housing crisis in a big way and our region has the potential to lead the charge in proving innovations that lead to more stability for low income households.

Mallory Sanborn, Access Ventures

The challenge is open to anyone in the United States as long as the beta test of the innovation takes place in Jefferson County, KY or Floyd and Clark County, IN. The Reconstruct Challenge explicitly does not provide funding for the construction or renovation of housing units. Rather, we want to address those challenges that surround the housing gap, so that we can focus on making housing more affordable with non-traditional solutions.

Our goal at Louisville Metro Government is to help all residents in Louisville reach their full human potential. To do that, people must have security when it comes to basic human needs like food, health care and housing. I’d like to thank Access Ventures for their leadership in bringing people together with the charge of creating innovative solutions. I welcome ideas from Louisville and from across the country to work with us in reducing these challenges for our most vulnerable residents to reach their potential.”

Greg Fischer, Louisville Mayor


  • Registration/Application Opens: February 6th, 2019
  • Louisville Launch Event: February 26th, 2019
  • Registration Deadline: May 2nd, 2019
  • Application Deadline: June 4th, 2019
  • Pitch Event: August 28th, 2019

For more information on the program please visit

About Access Ventures:

Access Ventures is catalyst building a more creative and inclusive economy by changing the way the world invests. Access Ventures exists to open doors that would otherwise be closed. By offering one-pocket investment opportunities and inviting entrepreneurs, creators and investors to share in an active and vibrant vision for their communities, we are all enriched as we build something together. We’re creating a world we all want to live in.

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