Government pledges commitment to helping people build their own home

It was announced at the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) 2016 Right to Build Summit that 12,500 custom and self build homes were completed in 2015 – a year on year growth of six per cent. This has demonstrated a reversal of the post credit crunch decline and will help support the government’s target of creating 20,000 custom and self-build homes by 2020.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis explained:

“We are committed to helping people build their own home and have ensured councils now have to keep a register of aspiring self and custom house builders when planning for future housing and land use.

“More than 10,000 people build their own home each year – and the new registers are another step in helping to double the number of custom and self build homes each year.

“We are determined to increasing housing supply and helping more people achieve their aspiration of home ownership – whether that’s buying on the open market through schemes like Help to Buy, or by building or commissioning their own home.”

Richard Bacon MP also discussed the launch of Custom & Self Build Demand Registers, which from the 1 April were required in England by law under the Self Build & Custom Homebuilding Act. Talking at the event, NaCSBA Chairman Michael Holmes launched the findings of the association’s latest survey into custom and self-building conducted in conjunction with the Ipswich Building Society. The survey revealed that 9.7 million people want to see a larger proportion of new homes being built via custom or self-build routes, which would in turn increase public support for building more new homes. However, in terms of knowledge the survey revealed that only 1 in 10 are aware of the introduction of Right to Build Registers in England.

Michael Holmes said:

“The success of the Right to Build Policy initiative and the delivery of land to meet the huge pent up demand depends on the registers. That is why NaCSBA is today launching a new website RightToBuildPortal.org, which promotes compliant NaCSBA-approved demand registers. Currently only 35 per cent of local authorities have adopted a register and we will be working hard to get this to 100 per cent, in addition ensuring Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland adopt the right too.”

To encourage the adoption of registers the NaCSBA announced its intention to form a Task Force to work with local authorities to implement the Right to Build. However, in the initial consultation stages while funding is secured, the Task Force will be instrumental in the success of boosting the custom build sector in the UK. The work of the new Task Force will be to build on the work of the Custom & Self Build Toolkit, which was funded by The Nationwide Foundation. The comprehensive online toolkit provides detailed technical advice on how local authorities can better support communities that want to build their own homes. The toolkit now includes a live discussion forum for local authority practitioners and community groups that are engaged in planning for custom and self build housing to share experience and information.