Ivory Innovations, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the housing affordability crisis, in conjunction with the David Eccles School of Business, proudly announces the winners of the highly anticipated 2024 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability.

A competition in its sixth year that celebrates the work of innovative organizations making an impact in housing affordability in three areas of focus: construction and design, finance, and policy and regulatory reform. This year, Ivory Innovations is championing the work of four remarkable Ivory Prize winners.

“The winners of the 2024 Ivory Prize are a testament to the power of bold new ideas in housing,” said Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes and founder of Ivory Innovations. “Housing affordability is a continued and growing challenge for millions of Americans and we need innovative solutions of all types to make a difference in the housing industry. We invite you to join us in learning about and celebrating new housing approaches that have the potential to make exceptional positive change.”

The four extraordinary organizations selected this year have emerged as champions of innovation, demonstrating outstanding ambition, feasibility, and scalability in their efforts to tackle the urgent issue of housing affordability. Ivory Innovations will distribute a total of $300,000 in prize money to support the transformative initiatives of these deserving winners.

The winners of the 2024 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability are addressing today’s housing challenges with unique perspectives and novel ideas. Through Villa’s asset-light infill model, they implement housing density at scale while maintaining a dedication to thoughtful design. The City of San Diego’s ADU Bonus Program allows for the creation of much-needed “missing middle” housing by creating an effective local incentive to build ADUs. The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County’s Housing Production Fund allocates funds to the development of more housing in the county and, specifically, more affordable housing development. Finally, FirstRepair builds on the revolutionary work of Evanston, Ill., where they passed reparations in the form of a housing-dedicated payment, and hopes to bring this model to other regions across the US. These winners embody innovation, equity, transparency, and efficiency, collectively driving solutions for housing affordability.

Additional details about the four winners are included below and at ivoryprize.org/winners-2024.

Villa | San Francisco, CA | Construction & Design Winner

Using an asset-light approach to deploy housing in missing middle infill locations, Villa is prepared and committed to meeting the housing needs of communities across America.

“We are absolutely thrilled for Villa to be the winner of the Construction & Design category of the 2024 Ivory Prize,” said Sean Roberts, CEO of Villa. “Our entire team is grateful and honored to have Villa’s hard work recognized by the Ivory Innovations team. The root cause of America’s housing affordability and availability challenges is decades of housing underproduction. The housing shortage is even more severe for people seeking smaller, entry-level homes in desirable locations where they want to live, work, and go to school. Our mission at Villa is simple: to be the easiest, fastest, and most cost-efficient way to build homes. We are focused on building these much-needed homes in infill locations using prefabricated construction and we’re excited to continue to grow Villa with the enhanced support from the Ivory Innovations ecosystem.”

Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County: Housing Production Fund | Kensington, MD | Finance Winner

Using an innovative funding and development model to create mixed-income social housing, with 30% of units dedicated to low-income families.

“The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County is honored that our Housing Production Fund (HPF) was selected as a 2024 Ivory Prize winner and we are proud to be recognized as a ‘housing visionary,’” said HOC President Chelsea Andrews. “The HPF is revolutionizing the way affordable housing is financed and its wisdom has been validated not only by the Ivory Prize award judges, but by the communities across the country that already are replicating it to meet their own affordable housing needs. We sincerely thank Ivory Innovations for this amazing honor.”

The City of San Diego: ADU Bonus Program | San Diego, CA | Policy & Regulatory Reform Co-Winner

Incentivizing ADU development in the City of San Diego to increase density in single-family neighborhoods and the supply of deed-restricted units.

“Being recognized by Ivory Innovations for aggressive changes to our local Land Development Code to allow for a large-scale increase in Accessory Dwelling Unit production is an honor for the City of San Diego.”, said Development Services Department Assistant Director Gary Geiler, leader of the City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit program. “Coupling density bonuses for affordable units and the ability to more efficiently utilize high-cost land parcels with multiple ADUs by waiving Development Impact Fees together have created a wave of new development that did not previously exist. In addition, the DSD team prioritized ADU reviews, delivering the reviewed permits quickly and ministerially, thus contributing to cost savings by the ADU developer. We hope to see thousands more ADUs in the near future.”

FirstRepair | Evanston, IL | Policy & Regulatory Reform Co-Winner

Prioritizing localized housing-related redress as a first step to repair the legacy of slavery in the United States.

“When I began our reparations work in Evanston and later founded FirstRepair, I didn’t think that our work might be eligible for a housing award,” said Robin Rue Simmons, the Executive Director of FirstRepair. “Our work began from listening to the community, and one of the most important topics for Evanston community members was housing. FirstRepair’s goal is to support reparations programs that best fit the needs of the local communities we work with. And, like Evanston, many communities around the country face serious housing challenges. Being selected as an Ivory Prize winner not only validates our work as a solution for racial equity but also as a solution at the forefront of housing innovation.”

These visionary winners embody the spirit of innovation and demonstrate the power of transformative ideas in solving the housing affordability crisis. From launching innovative policies to leading the charge for nationwide reparations, each organization’s unique approach showcases the potential to revolutionize the housing industry. Housing affordability impacts millions of Americans, and Ivory Innovations is hopeful that with organizations like these, the industry is taking steps toward making housing better for all. Ivory Innovations remains committed to celebrating innovators, inspiring change, and fostering collaborations that drive tangible solutions to the housing affordability crisis.

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