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Innovative solutions wanted admist rapidly rising housing costs

Each year, the Ivory Prize awards $300,000 in grants to winners in three areas of focus: construction and design; policy and regulatory reform; and finance.

Ivory Innovations is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for the 2024 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The prize seeks to elevate ambitious, feasible and scalable solutions to the challenges facing the U.S. housing industry, with the goal of making housing both affordable and accessible for all Americans. Any organization or entity that is actively engaged in the pursuit of this mission, including entrepreneurs, startups, public entities and nonprofits, is encouraged to submit a nomination at Third-party nominations are also welcome. Nominations will close on Dec. 31, 2023.

Each year, the Ivory Prize awards $300,000 in grants to winners in three areas of focus: construction and design; policy and regulatory reform; and finance. In addition to a monetary award, Ivory Prize winners also benefit from significant recognition, publicity and operational support from the Ivory Innovations team. Twenty-five Ivory Prize finalists also gain access to the Ivory Innovations network along with an array of support, including pro-bono consulting and sponsored summer interns from Ivory’s student associate cohort at the University of Utah.

Ivory Prize winners are selected via a four-phase judging process, which spans from January to May. Final selections are made by the Ivory Innovations advisory board, which is comprised of housing experts from academia, government and the private sector. Recent additions to the advisory board include former BlackRock Managing Director Kevin Chavers, who joined in 2022, and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Jenny Schuetz, who joined in 2023. The advisory board is chaired by Kent Colton, who formerly served as CEO of the National Association of Homebuilders.

“Each year, the Ivory Prize sees hundreds of innovative solutions to the many challenges that our industry faces in making housing more affordable,“ said Colton. “The strength of our advisory board and the breadth of the Ivory Innovations network are a huge part of why the Ivory Prize has been so successful over the past five years.”

Ivory Innovations is a “do tank” focused on catalyzing innovation in housing affordability. This mission is pursued through a variety of initiatives that span the realms of education, research and, importantly, practice. Ivory Innovations not only supports and recognizes innovation but also actively implements the solutions uncovered through this work in its own affordable housing developments. In addition to the Ivory Prize, anyone with an interest in housing innovation is invited to engage with the following initiatives:

  • Hack-A-House: A 24-hour hackathon that encourages college and graduate students to be imaginative about new approaches to overcoming our country’s housing crisis. Hack-A-House takes place virtually on Sept. 22, 2023. Competitors may be individuals or teams of up to five students. Registrations are accepted through Sept. 21, 2023.
  • Innovations in Housing Affordability Summit (IHA): Held in partnership with the Marriner S. Eccles Institute and the Ivory-Boyer Real Estate Center, the IHA summit brings together academics, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and entrepreneurs to think about how the U.S. can contend with its most pervasive housing affordability challenges. The summit takes place at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business on Oct. 19-20, 2023.

About Ivory Innovations

Ivory Innovations is dedicated to catalyzing innovative solutions in housing affordability. Utilizing its network and resources, Ivory Innovations promotes the most compelling ideas in housing affordability, working across sectors and 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, through Hack-A-House—an annual entrepreneurial competition—as well as scholarships, a course on housing innovation and internships that place students at the core of the Ivory Prize search. For more information about the Ivory Prize and Ivory Innovations, visit

For more information, contact Mary Schlachter and