THDA Challenge Grant Program

The THDA Challenge Grant Program provides initial seed funding to support the fundraising efforts of nonprofit organizations across Tennessee to implement housing activities that represent unique milestones, are part of a broad community initiative, or are part of a significant expansion of work outside the normal day to day activities of the organization. Selected proposals must generate cash leverage of at least 300% within nine months of THDA’s commitment of Challenge Grant resources to the housing initiative.

To be eligible, an organization must meet all of the following:

  • Be organized and existing under the laws of the State of Tennessee or organized and existing under the laws of another state, but authorized to do business in Tennessee;
  • Must demonstrate at least two years of experience providing affordable housing or affordable housing related services in the state of Tennessee
  • Have a 501(c)3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service; and
  • Be in good program standing with THDA.

THDA has allocated $500,000 to this program for 2021; however, THDA reserves the right to not make any awards.

The maximum grant awarded is $500,000 and the minimum grant is $50,000.

The housing activity proposed must be outside of the normal business of the applicant and not part of an ongoing or existing project. The activity must represent a unique milestone or opportunity for the applicant and for Tennessee. The scope of the housing activity must demonstrate broad community support and result in a significant community or regional impact.

The housing activity must include or directly support one of the following broad goals:

  • Significantly expand or preserve the supply of housing for sale to low and moderate income home buyers, including new construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of housing.
  • Significantly preserve and enhance the supply of existing owner occupied units.
  • Significantly expand or preserve the supply of rental housing for low and moderate income households, including new construction and rehabilitation of rental housing.
  • Significantly reduce the number of individuals who are homeless or move a significant number of a more vulnerable population into housing.

In an effort to increase social distancing and stem the curve of the COVID-19 virus, THDA has incorporated the following changes to the 2021 Challenge Grant Application delivery method:

  • All applications must be submitted to THDA electronically through the secure EFT site
  • Access to the secured site must be obtained by emailing Kathleen Norkus at
  • THDA staff will NOT be available to accept any applications in person

2021 Program Description and Application Documents

Please contact one of the following THDA staff with questions:

2020 Program Description

Program Forms

  1. ACH
  2. W-9
  3. THTF 2 Authorized Signature Form
  4. THTF 3 Units Assisted Info Form
  5. THTF 4 Request For Payment Form

Resource Links

Additional Resources

Telling Your Story : A Communications Guide
A great little booklet we've written with tips on how you can effectively publicize the work you're doing within your community. As you increase awareness with the public and local officials, the greater support you will have, and the likelihood of gaining additional funding for future projects increases.
Fair Housing Logo
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ADA Graphic
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