Social Vision have teamed up with a group of local architects to design ‘Empty Upstairs’ – our proposal to the 2023 Davidson Prize – ‘Somewhere to Call Home’.
For our submission we focussed on two things:
- Young people growing up in York, unable to get on the housing ladder and priced out of the rental market. What happens to the thousands of young people born and bred in York who don’t have the education, opportunity or aspiration to attain the better paid jobs in York? What happens to the thousands of young people growing up on the breadline? How can our young people stay in their home city?
- There are over 30,000 sqm of empty spaces above shop fronts in York City Centre. Historically these were residential, where shopkeepers lived with their family. Now most are either empty, derelict or used as storage.
‘Empty Upstairs’ asks: With concurrent High Street Housing Crises – are there opportunities to address both through one design process?
Our proposal is to create a new mixed community within the circa 30,000sqm of empty rooms above the historic streets of York. This network will provide a community of temporary and permanent housing catering predominantly to young people, young families and the elderly who are at risk of homelessness due to the rise in costs of housing, utilities, food and clothing. A new support network of services, people and facilities will emerge and thrive. The empty rooms are spread throughout the city and range from clusters of interconnected rooms enabling communal living to standalone homes for family groups. The central location of the Empty Upstairs network will enable its residents to connect to their pre-existing support networks through the comprehensive public transport links of York with subsidised or free bus travel as part of the Empty Upstairs offer.
At this stage, we just had to submit a short pitch. If successful we hope to be able to explore it further in the future, with Social Vision’s ambition to pilot such a scheme along with voluntary and private sector partners. To discuss the Proposal, contact Team REST’s Project Lead: email@example.com