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Utah initiative seeks housing solutions and innovation, awards company using bamboo

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In Utah's record housing market, one local initiative is focused on finding the best solutions around the country and bringing them back to the Beehive state. 2News recently spotlighted a local builder using bamboo material made by BamCore. (File photo: KUTV)

In Utah's record housing market, one local initiative is focused on finding the best solutions around the country and bringing them back to the Beehive state.

Ivory Innovations, based at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business, gives out annual awards to organizations that are innovating, helping lead to housing affordability.

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“We’ll go out and seek these innovations – something that’s new, exciting, that’s actually changing this world of housing which hasn’t changed in so long – and then trying to bring those solutions back to Utah to kind of help here because we have such a bad problem right now,” said Abby Ivory, one of the initiative’s directors. (Utah-based Ivory Homes is one of the initiative’s sponsors, and its CEO founded the prize.)

Ivory Innovations just gave out its third round of awards which come with a monetary prize for each winner. According to the organization, 160 applicants from 37 states competed.

One of the winners this round is BamCore, a northern California-based company that makes a building product using bamboo. 2News recently spotlighted a local builder using that material.

Ivory said solutions and innovation are critical to helping people get into housing right now. The Ivory Innovations award has about 10 sponsors and plans to continue looking at companies, governments, and non-profits across the country that are doing new things in housing.

“Some of them are not in the end going to come to Utah, but we can still learn from them,” Ivory said. “I think there’s a lot to be learned from other ideas that are working in other places.”

More from Daniel Woodruff: Here's what it's really like to buy a house in Utah right now

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