The Institute of Economic Affairs has launched the second Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize in an attempt to find ways in which to establish a new, market-based policy to alleviate the UK’s housing shortage. A first prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the best and boldest entry outlining a ‘Free Market Breakthrough’ policy to solve the UK housing crisis.
Competition entrants are asked to propose a single policy initiative which would have a major impact on the following criteria:
- Increase the number of houses built so at to markedly reduce the housing shortage in this country (this can be reduced through increased rental or ownership)
- Increase the number and proportion of property owners in the UK
- Be politically possible.
The prize pool consists of £61,500, including a £50,000 grand prize for the winning entry, three £2,500 student prizes and one dedicated school student prize.
The competition website explains: “One of greatest issues facing the United Kingdom at present is the cost and inaccessibility of housing for young people. Home ownership rates – even amongst middle income earners – have more than halved in the past 20 years, and as prices continue to rise there seems to be little political appetite for real reforms. Those efforts that have been made often bog down in local opposition to new housing projects and the unwillingness of governments of all political stripes to take on entrenched interests.
“But how can we have a property-owning democracy without property owners? The Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize is looking for essays to help answer how we can find a new, market-based policy to alleviate the UK’s housing shortage, and to rejuvenate our property-owning democracy, while retaining its popularity.”
Judges include Richard Koch, the benefactor and supporter of the prize and a former management consultant and entrepreneur, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, and Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Mr Littlewood comments: “Market-based policies have the power to dramatically change the economy and society for the greater good. The capacity and bandwith of Government has been taken over by Brexit for the past two years, but now it is time politicians looked beyond Brexit, to the pressing domestic issues of our time – arguably the most pressing of which is the cost of housing.”
Submissions are welcomed from individuals, groups of individuals, academia, the not-for-profit sector and all corporate bodies. Entries are open now and close at 23:59 GMT on Friday 14th September.
Find out more at: http://breakthroughprize.org.uk/
Beavis Morgan – specialist advisers to the UK property sector
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