Leadership

Ivory Prize Top 10 Finalists Renew Hope In A Vibrant American Dream

Innovations in building technology and design, finance, and policy both lower the cost barriers to access, and raise individuals' capability to to make the Dream a reality for more.

Leadership

Ivory Prize Top 10 Finalists Renew Hope In A Vibrant American Dream

Innovations in building technology and design, finance, and policy both lower the cost barriers to access, and raise individuals' capability to to make the Dream a reality for more.

April 21st, 2022
Ivory Prize Top 10 Finalists Renew Hope In A Vibrant American Dream
SHARE:
SHARE:

The people who originally forged the American Dream into one of modern civilization's most powerful cultural and economic forces did so with love, labor, learning, prayer, intestinal fortitude, and no-end of brilliance, virtue, purpose, and other qualities too many to name.

Their gift to us, early on as we are in the 21st Century, came lacking just one critical detail. An owner's manual.

A user's guide to the American Dream's care and maintenance, should one ever come about, might address three essentials to keeping its pulse rate steady, its central nervous system firing at every synapse, and its soul sustaining timeless focus forward on what matters most.

  • Raise expectations and self-determination: Households across society's and the economy's continuum inspired, educated, empowered toward her, his, their enlightened and elevated self-interest.
  • Lower the barriers to entry: A robust, welcomed, and constantly innovating private sector motivated to refresh and reignite a virtuous cycle of bending cost curves downward to improve the odds of mobility towards access and attainability of the Dream.
  • Support fairness, catalyze solutions: A policy strategy whose mission is to cultivate healthy self-sustaining markets and at the same time protect, support, and provide tools for people privilege has bypassed, and whose vulnerabilities make it difficult to participate in the markets.

Meanwhile, as inflation, interest rate increases, supply chain chokeholds, and economic challenges ahead each lop chunks of prospective market-rate renters and homebuyers from the universe and its margins, that paring, sorting, and filtering process prices more and more households out of the Dream and into an affordability, attainability, mobility, and access pipedream or nightmare.

The cohort of firms, organizations, and initiatives that earned honors this year as the Top 10 Finalists for the 2022 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability stands apart from any of the annual recognition award's four-year history.

The way that this line-up of programs differs from years past runs to the core of care and maintenance of the American Dream. The array of efforts you'll see outlined below – whether they're super-capitalized enterprises, well-funded municipal and neighborhood revitalization platforms, or bootstraps labors of love and purpose that have blossomed in scope and impact – focus on all three essentials to keeping the American Dream meaningful, not just for those who already live it, but for those who can and will if they try.

  • They spark, train, and empower self-determinism ... increasing the means for people to earn, save, and pay more.
  • They apply brilliance, technology, data, invention, and collaboration to toward eliminating time, money, materials and natural resources waste, etc. in ways can bend that cost curve favorably toward lowering barriers to access and attainability.
  • They catalyze public and private partnerships, free-market mechanisms, and precisely-targeted policy levers to tackle systemic biases, structural vulnerability, and damaged social and cultural fabric.

Moreover, the 2022 cohort of Ivory Prize Top 10 finalists looks, feels, and reflects more accurate a mirror of the American Dream itself, whose hopes, commitments, genius, ingenuity, doggedness, opportunism, dynamism, and love know no bounds of color, race, faith, gender, economic, cultural, or any other kind of identification.

There's no "us vs. them" in the American Dream's user manual. There's only we and us. That's the extraordinary narrative running through each of these 10 Ivory Prize finalists.

The 2022 Top 10 finalists, by category and alphabetical order:

Construction and Design

This year’s finalists in construction and design feature solutions looking to streamline and scale the adoption of ADUs; pioneer new approaches to supply chain, resource, and material management to both reduce costs but also have a broader social impact; and the continued evolution of modular construction to address the woefully inadequate productivity growth in construction over the past decade.

UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF ADUS WITH EIGHTVILLAGE | ATLANTA, GA, USA Eightvillage is a design and development firm focused on placemaking and community building. The firm started an initiative in 2019 called “Backyard ATL” that builds, designs, and manages ADUs for homeowners in Atlanta, GA, to create more affordable housing options 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 re-engineer the affordable housing supply chain. A Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Modular prototype is at the center of the initiative. The CLT Modular prototype replaces traditional carbon-intensive building practices and materials, lowering the cost of construction with a triple bottom line solution to affordable housing.

A TURNKEY APPROACH FOR MODULAR HOUSING - VOLUMETRIC BUILDING COMPANIES | PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA Volumetric Building Companies is a vertically integrated global volumetric modular construction leader headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, with locations across the United States and Europe. The company focuses on building the future by providing high-quality, sustainably produced buildings in less time across varied market sectors utilizing its technology-enabled design and engineering model, precision-driven manufacturing capabilities, and project-proven modular construction expertise.

Finance

This year’s finalists in the finance category provide a diversity of approaches to help make housing more affordable and equitable through addressing legacy issues from the financial crisis, revolutionizing the home appraisal process, and empowering communities with new tools to address gentrification and displacement.

STABILIZING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES WITH BLACKSTAR STABILITY | WASHINGTON D.C., USA Blackstar Stability expands equitable ownership of affordable single-family homes by attacking predatory lending practices and restructuring distressed debt products. It works with families with land contracts and similar forms of seller financing to refinance their homes with traditional mortgages, improve their properties, and reduce costs.

SQUARING UP THE APPRAISAL PROCESS WITH TRUE FOOTAGE | SEATTLE, WA, USA True Footage is building technology and a new community of appraisers to collect cleaner data and deliver a more standardized appraisal product that leverages data to inform and validate comparable sales and valuation analysis. True Footage is currently building alternative valuation strategies to evaluate systemic pricing gaps.

HARNESSING MARKET FORCES TO BENEFIT CURRENT RESIDENTS WITH TRUST NEIGHBORHOODS | KANSAS CITY, MO, USA Trust Neighborhoods is a Kansas City-based nonprofit creating community-controlled real estate where gentrification threatens displacement. Trust Neighborhoods has designed and piloted a new, innovative approach to tackle affordable housing: the mixed-income neighborhood trust, or MINT, owns and operates a portfolio of rental housing under community control to maintain permanent affordability.

Policy and Regulatory Reform

This year’s finalists in public policy and regulatory reform provide varying solutions to keeping individuals in housing through revitalizing communities from within, accelerating the approval process for affordable housing developments, bridging the financial gap that rent-burdened households face, and utilizing public/private partnerships to provide housing and supportive services.

REBUILDING THE MINORITY MIDDLE CLASS WITH BUILD UP | BIRMINGHAM, AL, USA Build UP’s value proposition redefines what affordable housing is by taking a long-game approach to rebuilding and owning from within a community. Build Up is the first group in Alabama to implement a curriculum designed by the Home Builders Institute, another Top 25 finalist. This model, at the intersection of high-quality education, workforce development, and community revitalization, results in dignified, affordable homeownership and retention of talent and wealth, both of which seed stable home and school experiences for generations to come.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY RIGHT IN THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE (AHO PROGRAM) | CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA Cambridge, MA's 100% Affordable Housing Overlay promotes more dense affordable housing development by non-profit developers, who often get priced by market-rate developers and are mired by cumbersome zoning, nimbyism, and multi-year project approvals.

DEPLOYING LOCAL ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS WITH DC FLEX | WASHINGTON D.C., USA DC Flex is a rent subsidy program that efficiently deploys local rental assistance funds, and it allows residents to choose how much financial assistance they need to pay rent each month. Unlike other programs, where rental assistance goes to landlords, DC Flex assistance goes directly to residents.

SECURING SAFE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH LA ROOM AND BOARD | LOS ANGELES, CA, USA Los Angeles Room & Board’s mission is to end college student hunger and homelessness by partnering with university housing programs and campus adjacent property owners. They then reimagine the use of their vacant spaces to provide low & no-cost transitional housing designed to equip students with the tools they need to become more self-sufficient and to ensure they complete their college degree program.

Led by TBD Dream Teamer Abby Ivory, who is managing director, Ivory Innovations will announce the 2022 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability winners via a Livestream event on May 19, 2022. The Prize awards more than $200,000 in prize money between at least three winners selected across the three award categories — construction and design, public policy and regulatory reform, and finance.

Join the conversation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

MORE IN Leadership

M.D.C. Pulls Out Of $117 Million Deal To Buy The Jones Company

The Denver-based public company chose to terminate its agreement to acquire the Nashville-area local powerhouse. Here's what's going on and what it means.


A Deep Dive On New Housing's Shortage Tells Part Of The Story

Is there a housing shortage? Let us count the ways. Let's also focus more on who exactly would benefit from solutions to the underbuilding crisis.


As External Forces Intensify, Internal Resources Need Focus

Private sector residential real estate and construction leaders now — as always — have to both secure the business' future, and, to do that, secure the present. Their best people are key to both.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

MORE IN Leadership

M.D.C. Pulls Out Of $117 Million Deal To Buy The Jones Company

The Denver-based public company chose to terminate its agreement to acquire the Nashville-area local powerhouse. Here's what's going on and what it means.


A Deep Dive On New Housing's Shortage Tells Part Of The Story

Is there a housing shortage? Let us count the ways. Let's also focus more on who exactly would benefit from solutions to the underbuilding crisis.


As External Forces Intensify, Internal Resources Need Focus

Private sector residential real estate and construction leaders now — as always — have to both secure the business' future, and, to do that, secure the present. Their best people are key to both.