Confronting the affordable housing crisis

In the United States, there are only 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. It is impossible to look at this statistic and deny the fact that we have an affordable housing crisis in our country. But a shortage of livable units is only one part of the problem. Many people struggling with housing insecurity don’t lack a place to live. Instead, they lack the ability to make payments.

Ancillary costs associated with housing, like transportation, utilities, financing costs, and food insecurity, are often the tipping point that pushes someone out of their home. And systems meant to help low-income families can instead create additional hurdles to affordability.

It’s expensive to be poor in America. That’s why the Reconstruct Challenge launched in 2019; to support Access Ventures in addressing housing insecurity and ancillary costs that trap people in the cycle of poverty.

families connected to SNAP benefits
return on impact
Mortgages supported by Working Your Way Home
affordable housing units
of SNAP benefits unlocked

Supported By:

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A better way forward

Twelve finalists participated in a live pitch event in Louisville on August 28, 2019. After the event, each of the six winners received $300,000 to implement their solutions.
mRelief is a tool that eases the process of applying for and receiving SNAP benefits for those who are eligible. This female-led company has unlocked over $189 million in benefits and helped over 425,000 families across all 50 states secure food stamps.
Haven Connect
Haven Connect increases affordable housing access by streamlining the affordable housing application process.
Nesterly is a platform that links empty nesters or retirees that have spare bedrooms and want to age in place with trusted renters looking for affordable housing.
Through thinking creatively about how to use space, Padsplit has created a unique approach to adding more affordable housing units without waiting for new construction.
Urban Institute
Urban Institute created a micro-mortgage marketplace for affordable home purchases and renovation, harnessing the existing affordable housing stock in Louisville and Southern Indiana to close the housing gap.
Working Your Way Home
Working Your Way Home helps close the housing gap by increasing the availability of down payment assistance through employer contributions.


It starts with a challenge

  1. Applications received
  2. Evaluation panel reviews
  3. Top 10 applicants selected
  4. Selection committee interviews
  5. Final 5 companies selected and awarded $100,000 to bring their solutions to Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Challenge launches

Applications due

Recipients announced


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