Announcing Top-25 Finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability


Today, the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability announced the nation-wide innovation challenge's Top-25 finalists. Ideas include the three focus areas of construction and design, finance, and, public policy and regulatory reform.

"Our Top-25 represent companies, ideas, and initiatives that are making an immediate impact on housing affordability. Some are further than others, but many show great promise," said Clark Ivory, CEO, Ivory Homes and chairman of the Ivory Foundation. "I am more optimistic about the future of housing affordability in this country after reviewing 126 promising nominees. We are a country built on entrepreneurship and problem solving, and I am very impressed by the outstanding individuals committed to finding new approaches to this complex issue.

This new prize, supported by the Ivory Foundation, recognizes some of the most ambitious, adoptable and innovative solutions to address housing affordability. The Top-25 advance to the final round of judging for the $200,000 national innovation challenge.

"We're thrilled to generate some broader awareness and hopefully share some new ideas for addressing this pressing national issue," said Kent Colton, Ivory Prize Advisory Board Chair. "Narrowing this field to our winners will be extremely difficult due to the quality of many of the ideas. We’re hopeful that just participating in this process will allow a number of these ideas to find new partners or investors or lead to adoption in other places around the country.”

Finalists will be selected during the Winter Innovation Summit taking place on February 6-8, 2019. The Summit will bring together policymakers, funders, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs to explore the future of social innovation across the globe and is hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.  

The Top-25 include the following:

Construction and Design (Including Rehab) 

Baya Build -

Baya Build is a technology company that offers a revolutionary, ultra-efficient design-thru-build alternative to developers of housing and commercial structures. Baya’s mission is to build communities that optimize health, promote greater well-being and provide for equitable living. 

Century Partners - 

Century Partners are creating vibrant communities and offering investment opportunities for existing residents and neighbors. Buying full blocks, rehabing, repurposing, and creating a walkable safe community in Detroit

Factory OS - 

Factory OS is transforming the construction industry by vertically integrating 21st century off-site building technologies, software operating systems, lean manufacturing, & progressive labor practices to deliver multifamily housing more than 40% faster and at 20% lower cost. 

indieDwell -

indieDwell is a public benefit company which produces healthy, durable, sustainable and energy efficient housing at naturally affordable prices. We are not only reinventing the construction process, but we are empowering our employees and communities we serve.

Module Housing - 

Module is re-designing homeownership for the 21st century - buy the amount of house you need today, add on as your family grows, income grows, needs change.  


Common -

Common is creating better living through convenience and community. Common members know their neighbors, meet new people, and save money.

Divvy –

At Divvy, we’re on a bold mission to reinvent homeownership by making it more affordable, more flexible, and a better fit for our customers’ lives. Our customers choose any home for sale, Divvy buys it on their behalf, and they rent the home back while building equity with every payment. 

Dweller -              

Dweller builds and installs accessory dwelling units (ADUs) using modular construction processes and an innovative ownership structure to drive down the cost of building and owning housing in crowded cities.  

Forterra -

Forterra strives for a breakthrough in creating affordable, ownable housing through innovative use of material (Cross Laminated Timber), an innovative capital stack that could obviate the need for governmental subsidy, and policy innovation that can take the prototype project, Wadajir, to scale in Washington State and, later, the country.

Home Partners of America -

Home Partners has built an innovative financing and operating platform that has enabled thousands of households who currently are not mortgage-qualified to gain access to high quality for-sale listed homes in high quality communities by participating in our Lease-Purchase program.

DC Housing Finance Agency: Housing Investment Platform -

The Housing Investment Platform (HIP) is a single-family investment program designed to create more affordable housing throughout the District of Columbia.

Landed -

Landed is on a mission to help essential professionals (starting with educators) build financial security near the communities they serve. We invest alongside teachers and school staff when they are ready to buy a home in expensive cities like San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Neighbor -

Neighbor is a peer-to-peer storage marketplace intended to connect hosts with unused space to renters in need of storage. The company's marketplace connects hosts and renters, enabling renters to get storage spaces near them for 50% less than public storages, and hosts to monetize their spaces to help reduce their overall housing cost burden.

Nesterly -

Nesterly tackles the two big challenges of housing affordability and aging in place with one simple solution. Nesterly connects households with spare space to people who are seeking a place to stay for longer than one month.

Point -

Point is a fintech pioneer focused on improving homeowner finances. The company creates innovative home equity products to tackle challenges that traditional loans cannot address.

Turner Capital - 

Turner Impact Capital has one mission: to create innovative and durable solutions to today’s challenges by investing in community-enriching infrastructure in underserved communities. The Turner Multifamily Impact Fund is focused on protecting the supply of affordable workforce housing in urban areas by acquiring, preserving and enriching apartment communities for working individuals and families.

Public Policy and Regulatory Reform (Including Advocacy Groups)

Alley Flat Initiative -

The Alley Flat Initiative is a program of the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit design and planning organization working with residents, public institutions, and service providers to identify resource gaps and build collaborative relationships to address them.  

APX1 -

APX1 is the first nationwide effort to address the core issues resort-based mountain towns face. Apx1 began as a research project established to analyze the affordability gap in U.S. resort-based mountain communities and is now focused on three initiatives: research and lobby, impact investment, and workforce housing development.

Buncombe County -            

Buncombe County is working to assist private and non-profit developers in providing housing low to moderate income families. Their efforts creating more affordable housing through unique zoning and density bonuses for developments that include affordable or workforce housing units. 

Hello Housing -

Hello Housing works in close partnership with its government partners to help them make and maintain housing investments -- from scattered-site, infill development to Below Market Rate homeownership programs -- that break cycles of poverty and benefit low- and moderate-income communities for generations to come.

FinRegLab -

FinRegLab is a nonprofit innovation center that tests new technologies and data to inform public policy and drive the financial sector toward a responsible and inclusive financial marketplace. With our research insights, we facilitate discourse across the financial ecosystem to inform public policy and market practices.

Jackson | Main Architecture -

Jackson | Main Architecture is an award-winning architecture and interior design practice with offices in Seattle and Kansas City. JMA has been working closely with municipalities from the director level to building inspectors, advocating for and developing a modular housing inspection and review protocol. This effort has been undertaken knowing that critical mass in affordable modular housing cannot be achieved unless all projects can benefit from more informed elected officials and municipal policies. JMA is also working towards developing standardized building plans and specifications, increased municipal outreach and education, new AIA contracts addressing the typical modular scope, and the need to reinvent the traditional public financing model. These challenges are currently being studied by the newly formed “Affordable Factory Built Housing Workgroup,” which is chaired by JMA leaders.

California YIMBY -

California YIMBY is a community of neighbors who welcome more neighbors. We believe that an equitable California begins with abundant, secure, affordable housing. We focus on housing and land use policy at the state and local level to ensure grassroots organizers and city leaders have the tools they need to accelerate home building. We are building a grassroots movement and empowering local YIMBY organizations to lay the groundwork for more housing construction for people of all income levels, which will reduce displacement, temper home prices and rents, and allow California communities to grow responsibly.

Housing Consortium -

HDC is a nonprofit membership association with 174 members all working towards the vision of ensuring all people live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes within communities of opportunity. As an advocate, broker and convener for their members, HDC has supported and inspired its members for three decades. As advocate, HDC works at city, county and state level for policies that increase funding, opportunity, and ability to produce and preserve more affordable homes. As broker, they build relationships between sectors to create a comprehensive strong voice for affordable housing and also convene members for training opportunities, leadership development, and networking.

Utah Housing GAP Coalition –

The Salt Lake Chamber commissioned a landmark study on housing affordability from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only study of its kind in the nation that proactively addresses the housing affordability issue before a crisis hits like we see today in San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. You can read the full study here. In lieu of the findings in the report, the Chamber is ready to meet the housing affordability threat head-on by launching a new initiative, the Housing GAP Coalition. `1The overall objective of the GAP Coalition is to eliminate the annual gap in housing units and eventually erase the state’s 50,000+ housing unit deficit. A secondary objective of the Housing Gap Coalition is to shape public opinion and public policy to achieve these goals

Ivory Innovations believes that dedicating time, talent and funding to solving the crisis in housing affordability can create momentum for change in the housing market and improve the quality of life for millions. The hope is that no one will be priced out of reasonable housing. 


The prize also will give students the opportunity to become the next generation of housing affordability experts, with the creation of the Innovation Lab for Housing Affordability. The class, a partnership between Ivory Innovations and the Eccles School, allows students the chance to investigate and perform due diligence on the companies nominated, giving them insights into the housing market, as well as valuable contacts in the housing industry.

Ellesse Balli