Ivory Homes Launches Affordable Housing Prize

Filed in Business Management, Multifamily by on September 21, 2018 0 Comments

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A Utah home builder and NAHB member is spearheading an effort to generate innovative solutions to the nationwide crisis in affordable housing and offering prizes totaling $200,000 to the top entries.

Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, is the largest home builder in the state — a vantage point that has helped him see how homes are increasingly harder to afford for most Americans.

“Here in Utah, we have been No. 1 in growth for the last 10 years as a state, and we are on the front lines of that,” said Mike Parker, vice president of public affairs and marketing and Ivory Homes’ senior economist. “Our metros are generally on par or outpacing a San Francisco or San Jose or Seattle in relative terms to our incomes, and now the affordability crunch has become almost a crisis in our state.”

A recent University of Utah study cites this growing gap between wage growth and house appreciation.

As a company, Ivory Homes has diversified its product offerings and thus its price points, opening a division that builds apartments in 2006. But that doesn’t address the overall affordability problem for families in Utah and throughout the country.

Through Ivory Innovations, which is funded by the Ivorys’ family foundation, the company hopes the prizes will attract new ideas and original thinking.

What will people come up with? The idea of the 30-year mortgage was revolutionary when it was introduced more than 60 years ago, but is now a cornerstone of home financing, Parker pointed out.

It could be innovative design in the modular or manufactured housing sector, specific public policy or regulatory reform, or a way to effectively duplicate successful partnerships like the public-private venture in Detroit that has resulted in a burgeoning housing rehabilitation program.

“We don’t know what we don’t know yet, and that’s the beauty of the prize,” Parker said.

The winners will be announced in March 2019. More details about the competition, including the application process, are on the Ivory Innovations website.




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