Housing and Innovation: Lessons from the Ivory Prize

Housing and Innovation: Lessons from the Ivory Prize

Date: Friday, November 15, 2019
Time: 1 - 5:30 pm

Despite robust demand across the country for affordable starter homes and rental units, stringent land-use regulations, high construction costs, and an ongoing shortage of skilled laborers have made it difficult, if not impossible, for developers to profitably produce middle-market housing. 

Innovative strategies to overcome these challenges will be the focus of this half-day conference, which will feature the finalists from the inaugural Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The finalists, which include private, non-profit, and public entities, were honored for their “ambitious, feasible, and scalable” efforts to change how American housing is designed, built, financed, and/or regulated.

The presentations and discussions are designed not only to increase awareness of innovations in housing, but to spur connections and conversations that can advance new, innovative approaches to solving our country’s housing affordability crisis.

This event is free and open to the public, and will also be livestreamed on the GSD website

Registration information coming soon.


Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Christopher Herbert, Managing Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Member, Ivory Prize Advisory Board
  • Clark Ivory, Chief Executive Officer, Ivory Homes; Founder, Ivory Prize in Housing Affordability

Innovations in Construction and Design

  • Rehab with a Heart,
    David Alade, Managing Partner, Century Partners, Detroit
  • Momentous Modular,
    Larry Pace, Chief Operating Officer, Factory OS, San Francisco
  • Reinventing the Construction Process with Containers,
    Pete Gombert, Executive Chairman, indieDwell, Boise
  • Moderated by Jenny French, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Architecture, Graduate School of Design; Member, Joint Center for Housing Studies Faculty Advisory Board

Innovations in Finance

  • Boosting Homeownership for Teachers,
    Alex Lofton, Co-founder, Landed, San Francisco
  • Making Equity More Equitable,
    Bill Young, CEO, Home Partners of America, Chicago
  • TBD
  • Moderated by Carol Galante, I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy; Faculty Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley; Member, Ivory Prize Advisory Board

Innovations in Public Policy and Regulatory Reform

  • Creatively Using Surplus Land,
    Mardie Oakes, President, Hello Housing, Oakland
  • A Systematic Approach to ADUs: Austin’s Alley Flat Initiative
    Nicole Joslin, Executive Director, Austin Community Design and Development Center, Austin
  • A Big City Approach on Housing in Buncombe County, North Carolina
    Nathan Pennington, Planning Director, Buncombe County Planning and Development Department
  • Creating the Recipe Book for Modular Housing
    Matthew Laase, Principal, Jackson | Main Architecture, Seattle
  • Moderated by Kent Colton, Senior Fellow, Joint Center for Housing Studies; Member, Ivory Prize Advisory Board


Moving Forward: Lessons from Oregon and Minneapolis

  • Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development, City of Minneapolis
  • Taylor Smiley Wolfe, former Policy Director for Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek
  • TBD
  • Moderated by Christopher Herbert, Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies


Closing Reception


Co-Sponsor(s): Ivory Innovations

Read More About: Homeownership