Milan may not be Italy’s capital city, but it stands out as being the most expensive in terms of housing. According to a report by Italian real estate brokerage Tecnocasa Group, if you want to buy a property in Milan, you need the equivalent of 166 Italian salaries. So even if you were magically able to pay no other bills or costs or spend any other money, it would still take the average Italian 13 years to pay off their mortgage in Milan.


Often referred to as the economic capital of the country, Milan’s property market is far from economical. It takes an average of 12.8 years to purchase an apartment in Milan, compared to the national average of just 6.9 years.


Over the decades, Milan has transformed from a working-class area, to one operated almost entirely by the Milanese mafia, to a cultural and economic hub. However, that transformation has come with some serious consequences. Renovated buildings and a more mixed population has regenerated some neighborhoods and gentrified others, causing house prices to soar and making Milan unaffordable for those in weaker economic and social circumstances.

Buildner architecture competitions is launching its 15th affordable housing competition – “The Milan Affordable Housing Challenge” – tasking architects and designers with creating a concept for affordable housing that can be adapted and located throughout the city. Participants should consider designs that are flexible enough to accommodate different sizes for various inhabitants (families, single professionals, couples, etc) and their varying requirements.

As there are no specific requirements, participants are encouraged to be as creative as possible in the solutions they design, challenging typical ideas of housing, design, and the community at large, while at the same time maintaining a practical element that could potentially see these designs realized.

Download the full competition brief for more information!

The competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum). Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English; All information submitted by participants must be in English. 

Milan Affordable 
Housing Challenge