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Housing Lab Welcomes Five Ventures to Fourth Annual Cohort

  • August 15, 2023
  • 5 min read

Oakland, CA - Terner Housing Innovation Labs announced today the fourth cohort of entrepreneurs admitted to its housing accelerator. The focus of the accelerator is to seed and grow ventures making homes and communities more affordable, accessible, and sustainable. The ventures selected for the 2023 Housing Lab Cohort are A New Way of Life Reentry Project, CredEvolv, Housing Connector, Kit Switch, and

The five ventures will each receive $75,000 of seed funding and six months of intensive coaching and technical assistance to support their work. This year’s cohort, selected from more than 100 applicants, represents some of the most promising models to respond to the nation’s affordability crisis. The cohort members address racial inequity in access to stable housing and center sustainability and justice in the construction and renovation of housing. ‍

The United States is experiencing spikes in every facet of the housing crisis, from homelessness to rental rates to home prices. The Housing Lab searches for solutions that can support system-wide change. “When housing news is so often demoralizing, the Housing Lab brings sparks of hope,” said Terner Housing Innovations Lab CEO Ben Metcalf. “In the accelerator, a rare blend of housing innovators bring lived experience, advocacy, and tenure in the public and private sector to tackle bottlenecks in housing systems that can have an outsized impact on entrenched problems.”

‍As part of a three-year collaboration between the Housing Lab and the Wells Fargo Foundation, the 2023 cohort continues a focus on furthering organizations and businesses that support sustainability and resiliency through housing construction, including innovations in carbon reduction and energy efficiency.  

Founded four years ago, The Housing Lab has previously worked with 17 ventures, nearly two-thirds of which have been led by people of color. Past ventures have gone on to raise over $400 million and improve outcomes for more than 50,000 people looking to find housing, pay a mortgage, or build credit. The Housing Lab is unique among accelerator programs in that it works with a variety of organizations and models—including housing developers, nonprofits, venture-backed companies, and programs of existing organizations—all of which have thrived after participating in the program. 

Additional information on the five ventures selected for the 2023 Cohort

  • A New Way of Life Reentry Project (Los Angeles, CA) - Facilitates the reentry of formerly incarcerated women by providing housing and services through their Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) Housing Network. The network has developed 41 SAFE homes across 18 U.S. states and three sites in Africa. 
  • CredEvolv (Naples, FL) - Addresses inequities in mortgage access by connecting lenders, declined borrowers, and nonprofit financial counselors through a tech platform, linking denied borrowers with financial counselors to improve their credit score.  Consumers leveraging CredEvolv's platform have a tenfold increase in likelihood of qualifying for a mortgage following a credit decline, and increase their credit score an average of 53 points.
  • Housing Connector (Seattle, WA) - Increases access to housing for individuals most in need, by solving financial and resident challenges for property managers so they can lower screening criteria and open more doors to people that have historically been discriminated against.  They use technology to streamline the housing search experience via a Zillow powered marketplace and deliver scalable solutions to keep people housed.
  • Kit Switch (San Francisco, CA) - Lowers the cost of construction and simplifies the adaptive reuse of buildings for affordable housing through the design and production of modular interiors. Their first product line of ready-to-install kitchen modules are standardized for cost and time savings, designed for ease of assembly on-site, and fully reconfigurable for circular reuse.
  • (Oakland, CA) - Provides building improvements using housing data and technology to scale and to prepare communities for the transition to clean energy electrification. Revalue provides customized energy and health hazard solutions and trains women and contractors of color to deliver building improvements that reduce utility costs and improve indoor health conditions by bringing together contractors, utilities & government programs to benefit hard-to-reach communities.

About The Housing Lab

The Housing Lab, founded in 2019 within the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at U.C. Berkeley, is now a program of Terner Housing Innovation Labs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. With a mission to identify and accelerate early-stage ventures with the potential to make housing more affordable and fair, The Housing Lab is the first national innovation lab focused exclusively on lowering the cost of housing. The Housing Lab is supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Wells Fargo, JPMC, The Hilton Foundation, The Ivory Foundation, The Howard and Irene Levine Family Foundation, The Making Waves Foundation, and several other philanthropic organizations and individuals. Learn more about our past cohorts here.