Are you a University student or 18-25? Are you looking to improve your professional development? Are you passionate about creating social impact?

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) futures national housing challenge, sponsored by Homes England, is a competition aimed at University students and those who are 18-25 year olds in the UK.

With 1st prize of a paid summer internship at Homes England this is a fantastic opportunity for individuals looking to progress a career in the housing sector.



Individuals are required to write a 1,000 word essay on one of five topics:

  1. Why should housing be the Government’s top priority?
  2. How does affordable and good quality housing and neighbourhoods impact individuals’ overall health outcomes?
  3. What do you think the financial and economic implications are for the housing sector as a result of COVID-19?
  4. What can the housing sector do to tackle climate change?
  5. What should the housing sector do to support young people in their careers?

For inspiration why not read last years winning entry here.


Fantastic prizes:

  • 1st place wins a virtual six week paid summer internship at Homes England, which will commence between July-August 2021
  • Nine runners up win an insight day at Homes England, which takes place virtually in the summer
  • All of the ten selected finalists will be given a year-long CIH membership subscription

Archie Deme  |  Winner of CIH futures housing challenge 2020

The CIH Futures Essay Competition is an exceptional and unique platform for young people interested in the housing sector to discuss important and relevant issues. Reflecting on the experience, the internship has been thoroughly challenging, enjoyable and educational and has enabled me to develop and improve hugely.

Apply now

All entrants must include the following in their submission email:

Full name, age and if you are a university student – what university do you attend and what course you are studying, or if you're not a student, what your work status is.

You don’t need any qualifications or to be an expert in housing to apply, but enthusiasm and curiosity is key.

Apply now

The small print
Essay rules and guidelines
  • The CIH futures national housing challenge 2021 is open to all University students and anyone aged 18-25 in the UK
  • Essays must be no longer than 1000 words
  • The competition is free to enter and only one entry is permitted per person
  • References can be included (References cited within the essay are included in the 1000 word count)
  • A bibliography can be included (this is not included in the 1000 word count)
  • Entrants should not receive any assistance except for proofreading or for accessibility purposes. Entrants must provide details of any assistance received
  • Entrants agree that their entry is their own work, written solely for the purpose of the competition
  • Closing date Wednesday 14 April 2021, 12noon
Homes England internship
  • The summer internship programme is designed to provide an insight into the work of Homes England, and specifically the end to end development process. The intern will have the opportunity to work on real life projects and meet key stakeholders, whilst building a professional network and gaining valuable experience and knowledge for how the sector operates.
  • The winner of the Homes England summer internship must be prepared to undertake pre-employment screening which includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.
  • All appointments are on Homes England terms and conditions.
  • The internship will take place virtually.
  • To find out more about Homes England please go here.
Essay marking

Essays will be judged anonymously by a diverse panel who will select the ten finalists. We are looking for essays that show creativity, originality and different insights into the topic selected.