The Housing Opportunities Commission
Announced as 2024 Ivory Prize Winner
Housing Production Fund Lauded As Innovative Financing Model


Tia Blount
VP Public Affairs & Communications 
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Kensington, Md., May 16, 2024 – The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) today announced it has been selected as one of four winners of the 2024 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability, a national award to recognize ambitious, feasible, and scalable solutions to housing affordability. HOC was honored for its successful deployment of the Housing Production Fund (HPF), an innovative financing tool that addresses the critical need for more affordable housing.

“The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County is honored that our Housing Production Fund (HPF) was selected as a 2024 Ivory Prize winner and we are proud to be recognized as a ‘housing visionary,’” said HOC President Chelsea Andrews. “The HPF is revolutionizing the way affordable housing is financed and its wisdom has been validated not only by the Ivory Prize award judges, but by the communities across the country that already are replicating it to meet their own affordable housing needs. We sincerely thank Ivory Innovations for this amazing recognition.”

As one of four winners of this year’s competition, HOC will receive part of the $300,000 in prize money awarded to winners in the categories of construction and design, public policy and regulatory reform and finance.

“Montgomery County’s Housing Production Fund is a worthy winner, as they have utilized a public-private partnership model to create housing that remains affordable in perpetuity,” said Laurie Goodman, an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute and Ivory Prize Advisory Board member. “We were impressed by both the innovative design of this program, which uses municipal debt to provide the low-cost construction loan for the mixed income developments, as well as the permanent affordability feature, as the HPF has majority ownership over its projects.”

This year’s winners are (listed by category and alphabetical order):

Construction & Design Winner

Scaling a Platform for Prefab Homes:  Villa | San Francisco, CA
Villa is a homebuilding platform that focuses on building prefab homes in “missing middle” infill locations. Villa uses an asset-light approach by partnering with factories to build homes based on Villa’s designs. With a focus on technology, modern design, quality construction, and affordability, Villa is creating a scalable solution that can meet the needs for more attainable housing production across America.

Finance Winner

Activating Publicly-Funded Affordable Housing:  Montgomery County Housing Production Fund | Kensington, MD
The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, Maryland partnered with Montgomery County to create the Housing Production Fund (HPF) in 2021. The HPF is now expected to produce as many as 6,000 new housing units in the county over the next 20 years, of which at least 30% will be affordable. The Housing Production Fund (HPF) is a $100 million revolving fund that provides low-cost construction financing for the development of publicly owned, mixed-income housing. Jurisdictions across the country are now exploring how they can adapt this model as explored in recent stories in Vox and the New York Times.

Policy & Regulatory Reform (Co-Winners)

Crafting the Next Generation of ADU Incentives:  City of San Diego: ADU Bonus Program | San Diego, CA
The City of San Diego has implemented the “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Bonus Program”, which allows San Diego homeowners to permit an additional ADU on their lot in exchange for an income-restricted unit. that offers increased density for Affordable ADUs. This incentive has led to the construction of deed-restricted and naturally affordable ADUs throughout the city.

Informing & Empowering Localized Reparations:  FirstRepair | Evanston, IL
FirstRepair has taken a local-to-national approach in the centuries-long movement for Black reparations. Localities nationwide, like Evanston, IL, are prioritizing housing-related redress as a tangible first step to repair the legacy of slavery in the United States.

Learn more about HOC’s selection and the other Ivory Prize winners at


About HOC
HOC serves more than 20,000 Montgomery County households through a variety of innovative housing programs. HOC owns more than 9,400 apartment, townhome and single-family home rental properties and leases or administers another 7,400 properties that provide affordable housing. We provide rental assistance to more than 8,000 low-income households through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and an additional 1,600 households through other types of subsidized housing programs. HOC also has financed more than 3,400 privately owned multi-family buildings and helped more than 2,000 households purchase a home through the homeownership and mortgage program. Visit HOC.

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. For more information about the Ivory Prize and Ivory Innovations, go here>>>.