The wide range of affordable, high-quality units is inter alia made possible by the very efficient tool of developers’ competitions.The City of Vienna employs a variety of tools to render social housing construction competition-oriented and innovative while maintaining its high quality standards. Developers’ competitions are a means towards this goal and an important element in the development of new subsidised residential buildings.
From the legal viewpoint, they are a tendering procedure for plots that are owned by wohnfonds_wien or private landlords but in any case reserved for subsidised housing construction. Contrary to conventional procedures for the sale of properties, the best (i.e. the highest-quality) project is selected by a jury and the price for the land, too, is fixed in advance.
Competing for quality
To be able to correctly assess the quality of a project, a 4-pillar model with the criteria of social sustainability, architecture, ecology and economy is used. An interdisciplinary jury then chooses the project that best meets these criteria, thereby ensuring high project quality and efficient use of housing subsidies. It should be emphasised that the victorious project must be implemented by the developer as submitted. Both non-profit/limited-profit and commercial developers may participate in the competitions.
The winning team acquires the right to purchase the plot at a fixed price, which also comprises housing subsidies (up to 35 percent of the total construction costs). In return, the victorious developer guarantees certain planning qualities, fixed construction costs, stable rent levels, etc.