19th November 2014

Final few hours to enter the housing challenge

Viv Alexander

As we enter the final few hours of the £101,000 GeoVation Challenge to find GoVAtion Challenge 8 Logoways to tackle some of the long standing housing issues such as affordability, availability, access and infrastructure and best use of assets.

When we launched the GeoVation Challenge we explored some of these problems and why they are important. For instance, affordability and what this means can vary considerably by geography, community, household or individual.  In the 1950’s the average house cost just over 4 times the average salary, but had risen to over 8 times by 2008.
Affordabilty smallHow do we ensure there are enough suitable properties available for first time buyers to get on the property ladder? Why? Because only 18% of more than 325,000 properties with at least two bedrooms for sale in England were within financial reach of a household with children in an average local wage.

How can we build successfully on flood plains? Why? The probability of flooding is increasing, but predicting when, where and its severity is difficult. This makes it difficult to develop appropriate built solutions.

How can we better engage people and communities in neighbourhood plans so they have more incentive to stay in the area and contribute to its development?

How can we minimise numbers of empty properties left to fall into disrepair? Why? Because there are an estimated 845,000 empty homes across the UK, 300,000 of which are long term empty.

So if you are thinking of submitting a last minute entry, please have a think aboutHouse shopping how your solution tackles these or some of the other problems identfied.   We are looking for great ideas which use geography, technology and good design to help people to live in better places.  All entrants to the GeoVation Housing Challenge must use Ordnance Survey open or paid for data and Land Registry licensable data in their ideas.

The challenge is open to 12 noon today, 19 November 2014. The best of the ideas submitted during this time will be invited to a weekend GeoVation Camp from 16 – 18 January 2015 where you can work on building your idea into a prototype venture which is sustainable. You will also identify how to overcome problems in implementing your idea and learn to pitch your idea ‘pecha kucha’ style to the independent judging panel. Following camp successful ideas will be selected to receive a share of £101, 000 funding, subject to completing and submitting their venture plans. Winners funding amounts will be confirmed by 19 February 2015.

Our challenges are open to UK-based organisations and/or UK residents aged 18 or over and we encourage entrepreneurs, developers, geographers, community groups, and innovators to enter.