Newswise — SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Today, Ivory Innovations announced the Top 10 finalists for the 2020 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. Focusing on innovators in housing finance, construction and design, and policy and regulatory reform, the Ivory Prize recognizes companies, non-profits, and government entities making measurable and scalable strides in housing affordability. The winners for each category will be announced on April 16th at an event in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now in its second year, the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability is striving to find and support the companies, governments, nonprofits, and advocacy groups that are making housing more attainable and affordable for Americans who are at or below area median income.

"The Top 10 Finalists represent the best of the best in the housing sector," said Kent Colton, Chair of the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability Advisory Board. "Whether it's improving the financial situation of both homeowners and renters, making it cheaper to build housing, or enabling more housing of all kinds in their communities, these finalists are setting the standard for how we solve the national housing crisis. I look forward to honoring the finalists and winners in April."

In the Finance category, finalists have created platforms to help renters save and build credit, and for homeowners to build equity. One nonprofit is providing an opportunity for residents in manufactured homes to collectively purchase the communities and the land on which their homes sit. This community ownership provides means for the residents to build equity in their homes and keep rental prices low.

Finalists in Construction and Design are developing new techniques for modular and off-site building. One finalist is sharing its research and breakthroughs in lowering the cost of homebuilding to help other communities to combat homelessness and drive down home prices.

In Policy and Regulatory Reform, a West Coast state and Midwest city are national examples for leadership in housing as they have both taken steps to increase housing choices and promote density. One finalist has a new computational law platform that

has great potential to shape regulatory processes by making it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units and for governments to process inbound requests.

The 2020 Top 10 finalists are:


Digs - Chicago, Illinois

Digs is a financial platform that empowers a consumer to build wealth through their home. Digs' educational product allows renters to set and track savings goals leading up to buying their first home and existing homeowners to monitor their equity and optimize their mortgage. The company works with mortgage lenders as a way to help them build a relationship with their customers outside of the transaction.

Rhino - New York, New York

Rhino works with landlords to eliminate costly security deposits and replace them with a small monthly insurance payment, helping users avoid cutting into their savings when they need to move.

ROC USA - Concord, New Hampshire

ROC USA is a nonprofit social venture that partners with homeowners in Manufactured (“Mobile”) Home Communities who want to purchase and operate their communities as Resident Owned Communities (“ROCs”). ROC USA serves its currently 253 ROCs in 17 states through a national Network of regional nonprofits for training and a national Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for financing.

ESUSU - New York, New York

Esusu is a digital platform that helps renters save and build credit. Users report their rent payments, which increases their credit score, and join online communities that help create accountability for saving.

Construction and Design

Fullstack Modular - New York, New York

FullStack Modular merges modular building with new construction technologies to bring a higher level of control, predictability, and scalability to development. Fullstack is the first fully integrated modular solution, allowing the company to innovate modular building in the areas of design, manufacturing, and construction. FullStack Modular built the modules for 461 Dean Street in Brooklyn, NY, which currently is the tallest modular building in the world.

Entekra - Modesto, California

Entekra is implementing a fully integrated off-site building technique that streamlines its panelized building process from permitting to assembly so that it can be completed in just a couple of days.

New Story Charity - San Francisco, California

New Story Charity is a Y Combinator-backed nonprofit that pioneers solutions to end global homelessness. New Story creates breakthrough tools, drives innovations, and identifies best practices to share with other nonprofits, governments, and businesses that are working towards building communities for the over 1.6 billion people in need of shelter. Policy and Regulatory Reform City of Minneapolis - Minneapolis, Minnesota

The City of Minneapolis is “upzoning” nearly the entire city, which will allow more units to be built in areas that previously only contained single-family homes, while promoting transit-oriented development and inclusionary zoning. The so-called Minneapolis 2040 Plan is unprecedented and transformative, providing a model for other cities to broadly address affordability challenges associated with single-family-only zoning.

1000 Friends of Oregon and the Housing Alliance, for the State of Oregon's passage of HB 2001 – Portland, Oregon

The State of Oregon expanded affordable housing options through the passage of HB 2001 in 2019. The law requires all Oregon cities with populations over 10,000 to allow duplexes on all residential lots on which a single-family home is allowed. Cities over 25,000 and Portland Metro jurisdictions must also allow triplexes, fourplexes, townhomes, and cottage clusters in areas where single family homes are allowed.

Symbium - San Francisco, California

Symbium is a computational law platform that mechanizes the rules and regulations of planning codes to help homeowners, design professionals, and planners quickly determine if an ADU is allowed on a property, what the development standards are, and processes needed to build these units. The finalists and winners for the Ivory Prize are determined by Ivory Innovations’ Advisory Board. These include Clark Ivory, President and Trustee of the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation and CEO of Ivory Homes, Utah’s largest homebuilder; Kent Colton, Colton Housing Group; Carol Galante of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley; Chris Herbert at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies; the Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman; Natalie Gochnour from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute; John McManus, VP-Editorial Director for Residential at Hanley Wood; and Ryan Smith, Director and Professor of the Washington State University School of Design and Construction.

The Top 10 were selected from 25 finalists, announced in January. The winners will be awarded more than a total of $200,000 and provided support through Ivory Innovations' network that includes interns, capital partners, and strategic planning. For more information about the Ivory Prize and Ivory Innovations, check out this video or visit


About Ivory Innovations: Ivory Innovations is an applied academic institution at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business dedicated to catalyzing high impact innovations in housing affordability. Ivory Innovations seeks to promote the most compelling ideas in housing affordability by working across sectors, providing monetary awards for groundbreaking innovations and leveraging its network and resources