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A series of measures announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review by Rishi Sunak looks set to transform custom and self build in 2021, with a new Help to Build planned to support more people to build more sustainable and more beautiful homes.

The review includes two significant announcements for the sector (para 6.59):

  • £2.2 billion of new loan finance to support house builders, which includes delivering a new
    Help to Build scheme for custom and self builders, as well as funding for SME housebuilders and Modern Methods of Construction.
  • £100 million of funding to support, among other things, the release of public sector land, including for serviced plots for self and custom builders.

No details have been released as yet in regards to the format or the timescale of the Help to Build scheme, but NaCSBA looks forwards to working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to shape the parameters of the programme. Securing a Help to Build equity loan scheme has been an ongoing campaign of NaCSBA’s, which will support more people to build who would otherwise struggle to finance a build.

Recent research by NaCSBA and the Building Societies Association found that 1 in 3 British adults were interested in self building at some point, with 59% of respondents saying that access to finance remained the biggest barrier to them. A Help to Build will be pivotal to opening up custom and self build to a far wider sector of the public, enabling them to create homes that reflect their budgets, needs and tastes. This is essential, as the research indicated that it was those in the younger age groups where there was the greatest interest.

The further announcement that finance to support public sector land to come forward for serviced plots is also important, as access to suitable land remains a challenge – as reflected by 42% of those surveyed in the research.

Together, land and finance have been two of the biggest challenges for anyone wanting to create their own home, and NaCSBA is excited by the dawn of this new era of government support for more people to build more and better homes.

The announcements follow the news that government is to review the Right to Build legislation, as announced on Right to Build Day, and, together, these announcements reflect this government’s commitment to diversifying housing by supporting people to self build.

This marks a pivotal moment, not only for members of the public who have been dreaming of building, but also for those operating businesses in the custom and self build sector, offering confidence that the sector will thrive as it scales up. Most custom and self build homes are built by small- and medium-sized (SME) builders, and this activity boosts local economies, offers employment and training opportunities and creates valuable additional housing that completes this virtuous circle.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO, said: “The announcements today, together with those on Right to Build Day, make it clear that the Government is fully committed to do more to increase the diversity of choice in our new homes market.

“Greater choice will lead to great innovation and competition that will lead to more and better homes. We hope to see the new Help to Build scheme up and running as soon as possible together with the additional wonderful, affordable sustainable, uplifting new homes that it will help deliver.”

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