As a membership body, NaCSBA is always working to create more opportunities for its members, that have a positive impact for the entire sector. Since the outbreak of Covid 19 our board has been feeding into high-level conversations around measures to keep the sector safely operational. These have included a range of areas, including banking, supply chains and the overall safety of workers.
The custom and self build sector has, like the rest of the economy, been heavily impacted by Coronavirus. The first large-scale impact was the cancellation of shows (in venues that have become hospitals), but has spread across the entire self and custom build journey. Its impact is likely to be felt for an extended period after the immediate challenges have been addressed.
NaCSBA estimates that there are currently around 15,000 self builds post site purchase and planning permission, but prior to practical completion. This number is more than doubled if you add land purchases awaiting permission and properties still undertaking final work – resulting in a significant number of home builders and families affected by the virus.
NaCSBA is aware that the priority at this time is for government to work on getting the infection rate down. But against this wider goal, NaCSBA is focussing on four key areas :
• Builds that are already underway;
• Builds that are close to land purchase, starting on site or in the final stages of completion;
• Those investigating or planning a self or custom build.
• Protecting our members
Around these strands, NaCSBA has identified core areas that are having a severe hampering effect on activity, and has been working to get Government to allow certain sectors and trades return to work – where this is safe, to keep people building.
For example, seeking that Builders’ Merchants reopen, that individual site visits, such as valuers, inspectors and service providers, can take place to prevent activity coming to a stop.
In addition, it is also calling on Government to clarify its messages to give the country more certainty as to what work can and should take place.
NaCSBA continues to press the Government to proceed with its manifesto commitments to extend access to Help to Buy Equity loan (or an equivalent scheme) and to improve access to land with planning permission (through tightening the Right to Build).
In addition, NaCSBA is looking at a range of wider temporary and permanent planning measures that will facilitate more custom and self build homes, including for key workers.
As well as working with Government, NaCSBA is also in conversation with trade bodies, such as the Federation of Master Builders, the Structural Timber Association and the Building Societies Association.
To keep you updated, NaCSBA is hosting an online video conference for members on Monday 4 May, 11am.
We will update you on current activity and the thinking of the Board, and give you the opportunity to feed in your thoughts and to ask questions.
Look out for your invitation by email – being sent 27 April via Mailchimp (check your spam folder). Please ensure you have access to Zoom if you wish to follow the event, as you may need to download the App in advance.
If there’s a specific point you would like to make or question you would like NaCSBA’s CEO Andrew Baddeley-Chappell to answer then we would encourage you to email it in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org