Ivory innovations

Ivory Prize Areas of Focus

Finding Excellence.

Areas of Focus


The last great innovation in housing finance was the modern 30-year mortgage which emerged in 1957. New tools are needed as the next generation of homeowners faces a unique set of constraints. These constraints range from higher personal/student debt and a growing number of careers with regular job changes to a longer timeline for family formation, and rapid urbanization. The Ivory Prize recognizes that new financial contracts must be negotiated to provide this generation the same opportunity to build wealth through home-ownership.

Construction & Design

Innovative construction and design play a critical role in bringing down the cost of housing and improving building performance. The Ivory Prize award will focus on approaches for both new construction and rehabilitation. Participants may advocate the new materials or practices which provide improved efficiency in home building or use. Areas of interest include material production and use sustainability, income generating opportunities such as power generation or mixed-use spaces, and the potential of emerging smart devices and use of data.


From local building codes and zoning laws to federal materials and appliance standards, the housing space is subject to more regulatory oversight and intervention than virtually any other industry, placing a unique burden on innovators in the housing space. The Ivory Prize recognizes teams which demonstrate competency in using policy to their advantage with a particular focus on supporting new, scalable, approaches to improve housing policy.