Apply for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge

NEW ORLEANS (press release) — Local climate technology companies, entrepreneurs, housing developers, community members and public agencies are encouraged to apply for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge. It’s an initiative to create affordable and disaster-resilient homes in New Orleans, serving as a model for future developments.

Following the launch of their financing partnership, Elemental Excelerator and Finance New Orleans (FNO) have opened applications for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge. This collaborative initiative, born out of a shared commitment to integrate innovative climate technologies into affordable and resilient housing solutions, invites entrepreneurs, community members, public agencies and housing developers to contribute to the creation of sustainable homes that are designed for New Orleans and will serve as models for future developments.

Applications for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge went live on Wednesday, March 13. The Challenge aims to fund the development and retrofit of thirteen sites in the Pontchartrain Park and Central City neighborhoods and advance innovation in building materials, building performance, and creative labor solutions, thus reducing the cost of high performing homes. The initial $2M fund, combined with FNO’s Green Mortgages Program, will finance resilient homes responsive to local climate, budget and context, incorporating sustainable technology in design, construction and operation.

- Sponsors -

“This is about shaping a city that is more resilient, sustainable and adaptive to the needs of our residents,” said Damon Burns, CEO of Finance New Orleans. “By leveraging green financial strategies and cutting-edge technologies, the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge is a significant step towards building a cleaner, greener and more vibrant future for our community. This initiative serves as a beacon, inspiring other housing finance organizations to join us in the journey of innovation and community-driven progress.”

“This local New Orleans collaboration is about building sustainable homes as well as building wealth for resilient communities,” Elemental Excelerator COO Avra van der Zee said. “We are excited to kick off the next phase of our partnership with Finance New Orleans as an open call to innovators across the value chain of home development and we’re anticipating seeing a diverse range of solutions that will help create affordable and long-lasting homes for New Orleanians and their families.”

In close collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance and Neighborhood Development Foundation (NDF), Elemental and FNO are working to gather invaluable input from local residents, potential homebuyers and homebuilders. This collective effort will also incorporate feedback from key stakeholders, including the National Association of Local Housing Finance Authorities (NALHFA), Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA). This inclusive approach ensures that the solutions chosen are grounded in local context and history and informed by past mistakes to truly meet the needs of the residents currently living where the homes will be built.

- Partner Content -

Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...

“I’m thrilled to witness innovative ideas that go beyond ordinary solutions,” said Michelle Whetten, vice president of the Gulf Coast market and senior advisor at Enterprise Community Partners. “As a judge for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge, I’m looking for projects that address housing challenges while contributing to broader community resilience. The intersection of creativity and impact. This initiative is about more than just houses. It’s about shaping the future of our communities and paving the way for a sustainable and resilient tomorrow.”

As Elemental and Finance New Orleans deepen their collaboration, they invite individuals and organizations to join them in shaping the future of sustainable housing in New Orleans. To learn more and get involved, sign up here.

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter