Newswise — (Salt Lake City, Utah, February 29, 2020) – Today, Ivory Innovations announced the Top 25 finalists for the 2021 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability . Now in its third year, the Ivory Prize is an annual award recognizing ambitious, feasible, and scalable solutions to housing affordability across three distinct categories: finance, construction and design, and public policy andregulatory reform.

This year’s Top 25 finalists, selected from 160 nominations from 39 states, feature innovative solutions ranging from new approaches to address ever rising material and labor costs, to efforts that helped communities and individuals respond to the COVID–19 pandemic. An additional focus was placed on solutions to affordability that seek to address historic inequalities related to race and housing.

“This year has shown how interlinked housing, and specifically affordability, is to our social and economic fabric,” said Abby Ivory, director of Ivory Innovation and Strategic Projects at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. “The 2021 class of our Top 25 are pioneering new approaches, breaking down historic barriers and focusing on solutions that address multiple and complex problems through the lens of housing affordability. ”

The Top 25 for the 2021 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability are selected by the Prize’s Advisory Board , which is composed of some of the top minds in housing across the U.S. This year’s finalists are (listed by category and alphabetical order):


Autovol – Nampa, Idaho: Autovol is tackling affordable housing by using innovative technology to automate the modular construction process, cutting 40% of the traditional build time.

BamCore – Windsor, California: BamCore is a studless framing solution using timber bamboo to deliver a customized, code-compliant wall system that is redefining the low-rise built environment.

Blokable – Sacramento, California: Blokable’s comprehensive modular development model significantly reduces the cost and time required to create and operate new multi-family housing.

Building Talent Foundation – Washington, D.C.: The Building Talent Foundation is strategically addressing the severe and persistent labor shortage across skilled trades by connecting trained talent with builders.

Community First! Village – Austin, Texas: Community First! Village is changing the model by which cities address chronic homelessness by shifting from a housing first approach into a community first approach.

ICON – Austin, Texas: ICON develops advanced construction technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond.

Park Avenue Green // CG+A – New York City, New York: Park Avenue Green , currently the largest passive house affordable housing development in the country, making the critical connection between sustainability, energy efficiency and affordability.

UNITY Homes – Walpole, New Hampshire: UNITY Homes combines state-of-the-art technology and machinery to build a panelized home that a client’s builder assembles at a very affordable price point.

Tiny Home Village Project – Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Tiny Homes Village is a unique approach to addressing homlessness and racial equity, through a tiny home village specifically focused on supporting the local Native American community.


Acts Housing – Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Acts Housing supports families to purchase and rehabilitate distressed properties into stable homes through homebuyer counseling, representing families in a transaction and providing mortgage loans.

DeepBlocks – Miami, Florida: Deepblocks is utilizing technology to reshape development an entitlement decisions through a real-time analysis of financial and market data, in combination with local building regulations.

EarnUp – San Francisco, California: EarnUp is a financial technology platform that helps consumers better manage expenses, avoid expensive short-term lending and provides savings options to prepare for homeownership.

Housing Impact Fund – Charlotte, North Carolina: The Housing Impact Fund is an innovative social impact equity fund to preserve and create affordability for thousands of Charlotteans earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income in opportunity-rich neighborhoods across the city.

KeepHome – Boston, Massachusetts: KeepHome is a free app designed to guide potential homeowners through the entire process of purchasing a home, with a keen focus on how to assist homebuyers confronting structural and persistent racial barriers to democratize the home buying process.

Nico – Los Angeles, California: Nico is a neighborhood investment company that makes it possible for local renters to participate as financial stakeholders in neighborhoods where housing values are increasing.

Rhove – Columbus, Ohio: Rhove partners with multifamily landlords to give renters the opportunity to build equity in the buildings in which they live.

Silvernest – Denver, Colorado: Silvernest is a home sharing platform that targets empty nesters, boomers, and those with extra space with the opportunity to find a housemate, as well as create an additional form of income.

Public Policy and Regulatory Reform

Affordability Unlocked: City of Austin – Austin, Texas: Affordability Unlocked is a proactive incentive based approach to promote affordable housing to make major strides in the housing affordability space and have a goal of building around 60,000 units by 2027.

Accelerating ADUs: City of Pasadena – Pasadena, California: The Pasadena Second Unit ADU Program is a “Comprehensive Assistance” for financing, designing, permitting, and constructing a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in the City of Pasadena.

Casita Coalition – San Francisco, California: Casita Coalition is a statewide, multi-sector organization and California’s foremost leader in small housing helping to spark an ADU revolution leading to 19,000 ADUs in the past three years with zero public subsidy.

CoUrbanize – Cambridge, Massachusetts: CoUrbanize is an online platform solution designed to connect developers and planners to their neighbors. With Covid-19, CoUrbanize has become a very effective source for community members to continue to engage in development processes while in person public/community meetings are on hold.

Hello Landlord – Lehi, Utah: Hello Landlord helps tenants avoid eviction in a Covid-19 environment based on their response to a series of questions. With the help of their free tool, users write a letter that notifies a landlord that a tenant is struggling financially and that the law may not allow them to evict the tenant.

Impact Justice / The Homecoming Project – Oakland, California: The Homecoming Project is a program that focuses on reducing recidivism by removing the single most significant factor, housing. Formerly incarcerated people are able to integrate more easily into the community by quick placement into stable housing right out of prison.

University of Miami: Land Platform – Miami, Florida: The Miami Affordability Project (MAP) is an interactive online map centered on the distribution of affordable housing and housing needs in the greater Miami area that has the potential to unlock public assets, vacant land and support improved livability, equity and responsible growth accounting for the effects of climate change.

Telluride Foundation – Telluride, Colorado: The Telluride Foundation is focused on integrating donated land, prefabricated panelized home designs, and low-cost construction finance to support teachers and other essential members of the workforce, specifically in the Latinx population, to be able to afford housing in rural communities.


The 2021 Top 10 finalists will be released in April and final winners announced in May 2021. More than two hundred thousand dollars in prize monies will be disrupted between at least three winners selected in at least each of the award components — construction and design (including both new construction and rehabilitation), regulatory reform, and finance. In addition to financial support, Ivory Innovations' network includes interns, capital partners, and strategic planning. This year, Ivory Innovations is partnering with the Housing Lab at the Terner Center at UC Berkeley to send a top entrant through the accelerator.

About Ivory Innovations: Ivory Innovations is an applied academic institution and operating foundation dedicated to catalyzing high impact innovations in housing affordability. Utilizing its network and resources, Ivory Innovations promotes the most compelling ideas in housing affordability working across sectors, providing monetary awards with the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. Additionally, in partnership with the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, Ivory Innovations places students at the center of its efforts, including Hack-A-House – an annual entrepreneurial competition, scholarships, internships and a course on Innovations in Housing – where students explore innovations with potential to improve housing affordability, support the Ivory Prize nominating process and engage with the national advisory board. For more information about the Ivory Prize and Ivory Innovations visit .