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Mayor of London creates housing competition to solve crisis

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched an innovative international competition that will ask participants to submit their ideas to help solve the housing crisis.

The hope is that the contest will unearth several unexpected solutions to tackle the lack of available housing in the capital. The competition which has been developed in partnership with New London Architecture (NLA) has been titled 'New Ideas for Housing London' and allows entrants to submit ideas free of charge.

The chosen winners will be invited to work with the Greater London Authority to see how their concepts can be brought to reality.

It is hoped that the competition will capture the insights and the ideas that those involved in the industry such as architects, developers, social housing groups who have already been thinking about solutions but don't know how to put them into practice.

In addition it is believed that the competition is a good way to get those who work outside of the housing industry involved to bring fresh new perspectives.

It is also expected that by making the competition international, London could benefit from innovative ideas that have been used overseas to tackle housing problems in other towns and cities around the world.

Entries from abroad are strongly encouraged but the entrant must demonstrate that they understand the specific needs of London and show that their idea will fit the city.

Peter Murray, the chairman of NLA believes that despite all the debate around a lack of housing, the planning system and housing standards, there still seems to be a lack of new thinking around the subject to provide suitable solutions.

Mr Murray said: “There is a lot of debate about housing numbers, about standards and planning issues, but there seems to be a dearth of new thinking. We hope this Insight Study will unearth ideas that housing providers, architects and others are thinking about and would like to promote and spread, including innovative ideas from overseas.”

Specialists in Construction Insurance

The competition, which is sponsored by developer GL Hearn and Aecom will be used to form a significant part New London Architecture’s upcoming Autumn Insight Study. The study examines new ideas for quality housing and will include an exhibition of the shortlisted competition entries at The NLA Galleries at The Building Centre. The exhibition will run from the 15th – 17th of October 2015.

The 33 local authorities spread throughout London will be hoping the competition generates creative solutions that can be quickly put into action. They have said that the city is facing the worst housing crisis in a generation. Without suitable solutions to ease the pressure on housing it is expected that a shortfall of 500,000 units will exist by 2021.

Renters in particular are already feeling the strain with a scarcity of homes in London pushing up average rental prices over the past few years as demand outstripped supply. A lack of enough new new homes being built, perhaps in part fuelled by uncertainty in the economic climate has compounded the problem further.

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