Mon | Aug 2, 2021

Housing design competition to sketch affordable shelter

Published:Saturday | May 8, 2021 | 12:24 AMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Writer
The National Housing Trust SilverSun Homes Limited handing over 200 detached two-bedroom units to beneficiaries at the handing over ceremony of Silver Sun Estate on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
The National Housing Trust SilverSun Homes Limited handing over 200 detached two-bedroom units to beneficiaries at the handing over ceremony of Silver Sun Estate on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Sewell
Sewell
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The Government has launched the low-income housing design competition aimed at coming up with ideas on how to provide more affordable shelter for persons who cannot afford a house on the open market.

As part of the competition, engineers, architects, builders and students were yesterday invited to come up with original designs that are cost-efficient and sustainable.

“We are not limiting the competition to these categories, so once you feel that you can meet the requirement, we encourage you to enter,” said Audrey Sewell, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) and the Office of the Prime Minister.

Submissions can be made by a single person, or teams of five people maximum to vie for the prize of $1 million, $500,000, $200,000 – for first, second and third place, respectively.

Additionally, the two most outstanding students in each category will receive an honorary mention and $50,000 each, and a certificate of participation will be given to all entrants.

This competition is a part of the New Social Housing Programme implemented in 2019.

The Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, which was launched with a housing and economic component, is also active in this goal to transform Jamaica.

The housing component has allotted each member of parliament five single units annually, prioritise the relocation of vulnerable communities and the upgrading of tenements.

The competition was first announced in July 2020. The four categories of entries are one, two and three-bedroom units and multifamily units.

“Designs should accommodate persons who are disabled, demonstrate climate resilience and of course be adaptable to various terrains to be found islandwide,” emphasised Sewell, who spoke yesterday during a virtual event to launch the competition.

The designs will be judged by a multi-stakeholder panel based on cost, use of material, technical soundness, functionality, climate resilience, innovation and creativity.

All information on the entry process, requirements and categories are available on the MEGJC website.

While the Government is encouraging the use of local materials, Prime Minister Andrew Holness suggested that much attention should be paid to the choice of materials.

He indicated that materials that increase comfort should be used to construct homes, but at a reduced cost.

Holness noted that not all areas in Jamaica had a sewage system, and, therefore, this infrastructure cost must be considered in constructing a house.

Registration for the competition closes at 4 p.m. on May 25, 2021.