Rees-Mogg To Judge £50,000 Prize For Solving The UK Housing Crisis

The UK’s worsening housing crisis has led the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to set up a £50,000 prize for anyone who can solve it – with Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as judge.

The second Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize will award £50,000 to the best and boldest essay outlining a “free market breakthrough” policy to solve the UK housing crisis.


Competitors are being asked to propose a single policy initiative which would increase the number of houses built, increase the number and proportion of property owners in the UK, and be politically possible.


In addition to the £50,000 prize, there are three £2,500 student prizes up for grabs and one dedicated school student prize.

Submissions can be made by individuals, groups of individuals, academia, the not-for-profit sector and all corporate bodies.

Richard Koch – the benefactor and supporter of the prize – is a British author, speaker, investor and a former management consultant and entrepreneur.

Joining Koch and Rees-Mogg on the judging panel is Mark Littlewood, director general of the IEA.

“Building more houses and supporting home ownership are the two great challenges for Conservatives,” Rees-Mogg said. “A property-owning democracy provides one of the most stable and prosperous forms of society. Its erosion denies people their reasonable life’s ambition.”

Littlewood argued 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.”

In the 20th century, home ownership rose from one in 10 Brits to seven in 10.


“Without everyone having a realistic chance of owning a home or significant other property, a property-owning democracy becomes impossible, and the ‘free market’ appears rigged in favour of the rich and elderly,” Koch warned.


Submissions must be between 2,000 and 3,000 words long. The deadline for entries is 23:59 GMT on 14 September 2018 and must be sent to Claire Talbot at breakthroughprize@iea.org.uk.