Ten ideas for tackling America’s affordability crisis

Newswise — Today, Ivory Innovations announced the top 10 finalists for the 2022 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability, a national award recognizing ambitious, feasible and scalable affordable housing solutions. These finalists present tangible solutions as more safe and affordable housing becomes available to Americans.

“America’s housing affordability challenges require innovative solutions more than ever. This year’s Ivory Prize finalists offer unique but scalable approaches to this complex problem,” said Kent Colton, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. “We congratulate each of our finalists and encourage other innovators, funders, elected officials and industry leaders to join this effort to make the greatest impact.”

The Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability focuses on solutions from three categories: construction and design, finance, and public policy and regulatory reform. Ivory Innovations will announce the winners of the 2022 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability via a live stream event on May 19, 2022. The Ivory Prize awards more than $200,000 in prize money to at least three winners selected in three award categories – construction and design, public policy and regulatory reform, and finance.

This year’s top 10 finalists are (listed by category and in alphabetical order):

Construction and Design –
This year’s engineering and design finalists offer solutions aimed at streamlining and scaling ADU adoption; Pioneering new approaches in supply chain, resource and material management to both reduce costs and achieve broader social impact; and the continued evolution of modular construction to counteract the woefully under-productive growth in construction over the past decade.

Unlocking the Potential of ADUs with Eightvillage | Atlanta, GA, USA

Eightvillage is a design and development company focused on creating places and building communities. The company launched an initiative called Backyard ATL in 2019, which builds, designs and manages ADUs for homeowners in Atlanta, GA to create more affordable housing opportunities in Atlanta’s low-income neighborhoods.

Sustainable Supply Chains with Forterra Forest to Home Initiative | Seattle, WA, USA

Forterra’s Forest to Home initiative brings together a coalition of tribes, communities of color, land trusts and architects to reshape the affordable housing supply chain. The focus of the initiative is a modular prototype made of cross laminated timber (CLT). The CLT Modular prototype replaces traditional high-carbon construction methods and materials, lowering construction costs with a triple end solution for affordable housing.

A Turnkey Approach to Modular Housing – Volumetric Construction Companies | Philly, PA, USA
Volumetric Building Companies is a vertically integrated global leader in volumetric modular building with headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and offices in the United States and Europe. The company is focused on shaping the future by delivering high-quality, sustainably-produced buildings in less time for diverse market sectors, leveraging its technology-enabled design and construction model, precision-driven manufacturing capabilities and project-proven modular construction expertise.

Finances –
This year’s finance category finalists offer a variety of approaches to make housing more affordable and equitable by addressing the legacy of the financial crisis, revolutionizing the property appraisal process, and empowering communities with new tools to combat gentrification and displacement.

Stabilize Families and Communities with Blackstar Stability | Washington D.C., United States

Blackstar Stability expands equitable ownership of affordable single-family homes by challenging predatory lending practices and restructuring distressed credit products. It works with families with land leases and similar forms of seller financing to refinance their homes with traditional mortgages, improving their homes and reducing costs.

Match the judging process to real footage | Seattle, WA, USA

True Footage is building technology and a new community of reviewers to collect cleaner data and provide a more standardized review product that uses data for information and validation

comparable sales and valuation analyses. True Footage is currently building alternative valuation strategies to assess systemic price gaps.

Harnessing Market Forces to Benefit Current Residents with Trusted Neighborhoods | Kansas City, MO, USA
Trust Neighborhoods is a Kansas City-based non-profit organization that creates community-controlled properties where gentrification threatens displacement. Trust Neighborhoods has developed and piloted a new, innovative approach to tackling affordable housing: The Mixed-Income Neighborhood Trust, or MINT, owns and operates a portfolio of rental housing under community control to maintain affordability over time.

Public Policy and Regulatory Reform –
This year’s Public Policy and Regulatory Reform finalists offer diverse solutions to keep individuals in housing by revitalizing communities from within, speeding up the approval process for affordable housing developments, bridging the financial gap faced by rent-burdened households, and public- private partnerships use housing and provide supporting services.

Rebuilding the Minority Middle Class with Build UP | Birmingham, AL, USA

The Build UP value proposition is redefining what affordable housing is by taking a long-term approach to rebuilding and owning within a community. Build Up is the first group in Alabama to implement a curriculum developed by the Home Builders Institute, another top 25 finalist. This model, at the intersection of quality education, human development and community revitalization, results in dignified, affordable home ownership and the preservation of talent and wealth, both of which result in stable home and school experiences for generations to come.

Affordable housing by rights in the City of Cambridge (AHO scheme) | Cambridge, MA, USA

Cambridge, MA’s 100% Affordable Housing Overlay encourages denser affordable housing development by not-for-profit developers, often market-priced by developers and bogged down by cumbersome zoning, nimbyism, and multi-year project permits.

Providing local support to tenants with DC FLEX | Washington D.C., United States

DC Flex is a rent subsidy program that makes efficient use of local rent subsidy funds, allowing residents to choose how much financial assistance they need each month to pay rent. Unlike other programs where the rental subsidy goes to the landlord, the DC Flex subsidy goes directly to the residents.

Securing safe and affordable housing for college students with LA Room & Board | Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles Room & Board’s mission is to end college student hunger and homelessness by working with college housing programs and owners of adjacent properties. They then reconsider using their vacant space to provide low-cost, free transitional housing that equips students with the tools they need to become more self-sufficient and ensure they complete their college studies.


About Ivory Innovations: Ivory Innovations is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering innovation in affordable housing. Ivory Innovations fosters the most compelling ideas by bringing together industry experts, inspiring students to tackle housing challenges, finding and supporting the best innovative housing entrepreneurs, and putting those innovations into practice. For more information about the Ivory Prize and Ivory Innovations, visit www.ivory-innovations.org.


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