NaCSBA has partnered with the Federation of Master Builders, the UK Cohousing Network, the National Community Land Trust Network and the National Custom and Self Build Association, to create a new lobbying group.

Housing Diversification believes that the Government’s ambitious housing targets can only be met if alternative housing models, such as community led housing and custom and self build become part of the mainstream solution.

Key to this is the roll of small- to medium-size housebuilders, who build these homes, and more.
Together they create valuable additional housing that can work with the production of conventional housing.
Housing Diversification is calling on Government to deliver on its commitment to support a much wider range of routes to housing development.

Between them, the group believes that it has the potential to deliver significantly more housing – up to 130,000 extra homes by 2025. These homes are sustainable, beautiful, innovative, of high quality, support local economies and provide training and employment.

Housing Diversification Members

Housing Diversification is made up of the Federation of Master Builders, the UK Cohousing Network, the National Community Land Trust Network and the National Custom and Self Build Association, working under a common banner.

  • The Federation of Master Builders represents 7,500 SME firms across the UK, half of which build new homes. FMB members expect to build more than 12,000 new homes in 2021.
  • NaCSBA reports that Custom and Self Build delivers 14,000 homes annually – with full support this could be 73,500 by 2025.
  • There are 10,780 community led homes in ‘live applications’ on Homes England system awaiting delivery, part of a wider pipeline of 23,000 homes.

The requests of government

Housing Diversification is calling for:
1. The establishment of a high-level Housing Diversification Taskforce, with a range of items set out for consideration (see Appendix).
2. Commitment to a five-year renewal of the Community Housing Fund as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
3. The creation of a robust and statutory system of reporting on diversification as part of Government housing statistics, including on the NPPF requirement for 10% of homes to be delivered on small sites (one hectare or less).

Specifically, the group wants the following issues reviewed:

  • Recommendations for consideration by the Housing Diversification Taskforce:
  • Invest in local authority planning departments to help them make determinations quicker and address the bottleneck created by lockdown;
  • Address loopholes in the Right to Build legislation and how activity is reported;
  • Deliver on Government’s commitment to extend Help to Buy (or introduce a new loan scheme) to custom and self build to address the current unfair competition;
  • Create a strategy for Homes England that supports diversification, including ensuring it is embedded and actively encouraged through the upcoming DPP3 process.
  • Require Homes England to adopt a policy whereby 10% of homes that are delivered as a result of their investment or land disposals are built on sites of no more than one hectare.
  • Explore the scope for local authorities to routinely set up developer forums that bring together a range of views (planning officers; SME house builders; community representatives) to assess housing demand and strategies to meet this.