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Pitchfest: Lower Barriers & Expand ADUs

The City of Raleigh is seeking solutions to reduce barriers and increase the supply of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Goals & Objectives


This is a Pitchfest with a $5,000 prize!

Early-stage companies and idea-stage entrepreneurs with credible plans for implementation are encouraged to apply.


Selected solutions that meet initial challenge criteria will be invited to provide a demo of their solution at a pitchfest event. These solutions will be evaluated by a panel of local government staff, technologists, and community members. One solution will receive a $5,000 prize and be offered an opportunity to enter into a pilot partnership with the City.

To be successful, a solution may:

  • Provide low-income borrowers with direct access to grants and flexible financing options (i.e., forgivable loans, deferred payments, etc.) to help mitigate direct and indirect out-of-pocket costs of new ADU construction

  • Provide grants and flexible financing options (i.e., forgivable loans, deferred payments, etc.) to homeowners willing to construct and rent an ADU as a restricted affordable low-income unit.

  • Expand the range of grants and flexible financing options (i.e., forgivable loans, deferred payments, etc.) available by partnering and leveraging resources from lending institutions (i.e., conventional, credit unions, etc.) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that provide access to capital in underserved communities

  • Facilitate additional research into innovative methods of funding ADUs to find more affordable solutions for low-income borrowers

  • Apply innovative methods to lower the costs to construct ADUs (i.e., modular design vs. stick built, low-cost labor/apprenticeship construction programs, etc.) to provide affordable solutions for low-income borrowers.

  • Facilitate additional research into innovative methods to incorporate cost-effective energy efficiency measures for low-income borrowers (i.e., photovoltaic solar panels, etc.)

  • Increase awareness of local, state and federal policies, ordinances and regulations related to ADU development in order to better equip interested parties (i.e., developers, homeowners, etc.) with the knowledge they need (i.e., zoning, permits, fees, etc.).

  • Pitch us your idea! We may not have thought of everything, so we want to know how you can help us solve this challenge.

Release of Challenge: April 6, 2023

Responses Due by: April 28, 2023, submissions after deadline reviewed at discretion of city.

Questions Due by: April 21, 2023

Pitchfest: June 2023

Expected Work to Begin: July 2023

NOTE: The government reserves the right to modify the dates listed at its sole discretion.

City of Raleigh, NC

The City of Raleigh, is the second-largest city in North Carolina and remains one of the fastest-growing areas in the country and is emerging as a large city with a population of approximately 484,000. It’s both the county seat of Wake County (the largest county in North Carolina) and the capital of the state. Driven by a strong economy and an outstanding quality of life, Raleigh is consistently ranked among the nation’s best places to live and operate a business. Sustained population growth has created new development opportunities in Raleigh. The City has made strategic investments into new operational facilities, parks, transportation, transit and affordable housing. Similarly, reform of development standards has allowed more urban, transit-focused development and more diverse housing types to encourage housing choice and affordability.

The City of Raleigh is home to several colleges and universities, with a vibrant performing arts community. Fueled by an impressive mix of education, ingenuity and collaboration, Raleigh has become an internationally recognized leader in life science and technology innovation. A great economy, top educational institutions, and exceptional healthcare facilities are some of the characteristics that attract people to the triangle area. The mild climate, diverse workforce and proximity to the Research Triangle Park combine to make Raleigh a great place to live, work, play and learn.

Challenge Background

The City of Raleigh (City) aims to; 1) increase housing supply, 2) improve housing affordability, and 3) help residents stay in their homes. Increasing the uptake of ADUs will assist with the following:

  • Help stabilize neighborhoods

  • Provide a source of revenue for homeowners

  • Allows aging and medically vulnerable family members to live near their caretakers

  • Help residents age in place

  • Generate more affordable housing options

The City recently launched an ADU Fast Track program that provides pre-reviewed ADU plans that can be purchased at a significantly lower price than traditional ADU plans. However, there are still several barriers that prevent residents who may benefit the most from generating ADUs -- especially around financing. The City is posting this Challenge to identify and kick-start innovative solutions that address these barriers.


Proposers who have questions should send these to at any time until [one (1) week prior] to the due date for proposals. All responses to questions will be posted on the Challenge page on CivStart’s website at:

Responses to Questions

I am interested in submitting, but cannot find any affordability goals as far as numbers nor a list of what is legal for the City to execute on with financial instruments / tools. Any additional guidance there? Thank you.

Thank you for your question. Below are some links to guiding documents for affordable housing in Raleigh.

Affordable Housing Annual Report

Annual Action Plan and 5 Year Consolidated Plan

Please note we are also open to creative public/private partnerships that can help meet the goals outlined in the challenge, so we encourage you to submit an idea along with any assumptions you are making as part of the proposal.


To apply for this RFP, please complete the Challenge-Response Form through the CivStart Local Government Innovation programs site at

All responses must be submitted by April 28, 2023. The challenge response form will include the following questions:

A. Startup/Company Information

  • Company Name

  • Contact Name

  • Contact Email

  • Contact Phone Number

  • Company Website

  • Company Location/Address

  • Team Size/ Total number of team members in your company or team.

  • Case Studies: URL for background material on your product or team (i.e., video, case studies, blog piece, etc.), if any.

  • Briefly describe the product / service your company or team can provide (max 300 characters).

B. Program Expectations and Commitments

  • The pitchfest event is anticipated to take place during June 2023 with the option of being done virtually or in person. Will you be available during this time?

  • Are you able to commit to visiting the location of this government organization once?

  • The response to this Challenge is to establish a free or low-cost short-term pilot with clear objectives identified in a Scope of Work. A full contract may be considered at the end of the pilot program. Check to acknowledge your understanding.

C. CIE Program Proposal

  • Description of your proposed solution.

  • How will your technology help the city achieve its outcomes?

  • Will you be creating a new product / service, or will you be customizing an existing product / service for this challenge?

  • What makes your team qualified to work on this challenge (i.e., previous customer success, professional experience, academic degrees, research, previous product development experience, etc.)?

D. Cost Proposal

  • What is the estimated range of the cost of you to build and pilot your proposed solution product / service?

  • What is the estimated range of average hourly labor costs for key staff required to develop and pilot your product/service?

  • What is the estimated range of any equipment or software that would need to be purchased to demonstrate and/or pilot your product / service?

E. Program Timeline & Outcomes

  • What is the estimated Implementation timeline for the propose solution?

  • Please include estimated solution outcomes for a pilot or for a full implementation (i.e. # of households served, # of ADUs constructed, etc.)

F. Conflicts of Interest

  • Describe any potential conflicts of interest that your firm may have regarding the project, as well as individual conflicts of proposed personnel, if any.

G. Additional Attachments

Challenge ID:


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