Housing in the Private Rental Market

In 2012 Wates Giving sponsored a report that investigated the impact of the under-supply of housing on current generations of aspiring first time home-owners. More broadly, the report also considered the private rental sector and its place in national housing policy. Wates Giving now seeks to build on this theme by exploring what a specifically designed privately rented suburban neighbourhood might look like through the vehicle of an RIBA competition.

A Joint Partnership initiative, promoted by:

Established in 1897, Wates is one of the UK's largest family-owned construction services and development companies employing over 2300 people.


Wates Giving is the charitable programme of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust, set up by the Family owners of the Wates Group. As part of its work, Wates Giving seeks to promote thought leadership around topical social issues to advance ideas and address solutions.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our 40,000+ global network of members. Founded in 1834, the RIBA received its Royal Charter in 1837 and today is recognised as a Business Superbrand.


1 in 5 UK households will be renting in 2016 Designers are invited to speculate on new ideas for typologies and neighbourhood arrangements to cater for the private rented development, creating truly flexible homes and communities, and other benefits for those privately renting. The Wates Group and the RIBA hope to demonstrate that these fresh ideas for the suburban private rented sector can suit the emerging demographic AND be viable and desirable.

Prize money

There is a total prize fund of £12,000 to be distributed as follows:

1st Prize £6,000

2nd Prize £3,000

3rd Prize £2,000

Highly commended £1,000

Who can enter

Architects and students of architecture worldwide are invited to submit design ideas.

Competition Management

The RIBA's dedicated Competitions unit has been established for over 40 years and is responsible for delivering some of the most high-profile building projects in the UK through competition. These range from major public projects such as the Millennium Bridge, BALTIC and The Hepworth Wakefield to the more unusual like Halley Research Station, Antarctic. Competitions are a recognised vehicle that drives up quality, stimulates creativity and innovation and generates a range of ideas improving choice which often results in award winning buildings.