Housing strategy

Got a bright idea to boost the supply of new homes in London?

26 July 2015

New London Architecture, in partnership with the Mayor of London, are inviting London’s best and brightest to submit their innovative ideas to increase the supply of new homes in London. Up for grabs is a real opportunity to effect change, presenting to key government representatives.

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property and Peter Murray, Chairman at New London Architecture, explain why this competition is so important for London’s future housing supply.

 

Richard Blakeway

We need to build many more new homes in London. For decades, the number of homes built has not kept pace with population growth. For many Londoners, housing availability is their greatest concern and addressing the shortage is now one of the biggest challenges facing our city.

At City Hall we are pioneering new ideas such as Housing Zones, which use flexible funding arrangements to maximise development, fast track homes and bring much-needed infrastructure. The Mayor is on track to meet his target of 100,000 low cost homes for low income Londoners by 2016, with over 94,000 already completed, and we are releasing land for development – 320 football pitches worth since 2012.

Yet we know that more needs to be done to reach the level of housing building required - at least 42,000 homes a year, around double the current rate. No single solution will provide this increase and nor can any single organisation effect this change. The Mayor, London boroughs, government, private and public sector developers, construction companies and architects must work together to find new ways to drive delivery of new homes.

That’s why I am delighted to support the NLA in our joint quest to bring fresh thinking to building the homes that Londoners need. This is your chance to play your part – we are looking for truly innovative ideas, consider no idea too farfetched. I look forward to hearing your proposals.

 

Peter Murray

If necessity is the mother of invention, right now London should be experiencing a highly creative period as far as housing is concerned. But we aren’t producing enough housing of the right kind in the right places.

Looking back to the 60s and 70s there was a flowering of great ideas, from Camden’s low rise, high density housing programme to Farrell Grimshaw’s Park Row flats with their totally flexible floor plans; Walter Segal designed wonderful self-build housing schemes for difficult sites in Lewisham.

Designs of course cannot be built in isolation - the competition is also looking for ideas about regulations, standards and finance. We also want ideas from around the world that have worked in other places and that might be relevant to London; we are seeking ways that local communities can harness the energies of those who need housing, how they can identify sites and deliver the sorts of home people want. Baugruppen in Germany - building groups - have a very successful development model which co-housing in the UK has as yet failed to emulate. Housing developers and construction companies are developing modern methods of construction - are these just cheap substitutes for traditional construction or can they deliver something better?

Send us your ideas so that we can help to spread them, and ultimately, improve the homes and lives of Londoners.

For more information and how to submit your idea, visit the New London Architecture website.