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Deadline nears for MP's accommodation competition

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Last chance to enter the AJ’s ‘Common of Houses’ competition - and first chance to see entries so far

The ‘Common of Houses’ competition calls on architects to produce two designs for ‘state-owned, temptation-free’ housing for MPs - a bespoke constituency home and communal Westminster accommodation.

The competition closes on 21 July and judges include AJ editor Kieran Long, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, RIBA President-elect Ruth Reed and developer Crispin Kelly.

Common of Houses was conceived by Scottish design duo Hole in my Pocket, and is hosted at commonofhouses.co.uk and follows in the wake of the Daily Telegraph’s expenses scandal probe.

The site’s creators explain: ‘Instead of each MP having to go out and buy two homes, one in London for their Westminster duties and one in their constituency for their day to day work, we could remove the whole problem with the State providing accommodation. No second home allowance required, no temptation to purchase duck islands, instead all homes are owned by us and the MPs can simply get on with their jobs, everyone’s a winner.’

For the constituency home, designers can choose to design a building for a specific MP, or a standard building which could be used throughout the country.

The Westminster accommodation must be a mass housing solution for all MPs when they are on duty in parliament. This could take the form of a giant hotel, student halls of residence or a prison ship moored on the Thames – all ideas welcome.

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