SME house building

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has given the green light to a new package of financial support for small and medium sized (SME) builders, to help them build more houses.

The £1 billion scheme, from the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Build Programme, will guarantee millions in new loans for independent construction to boost the delivery of local homes. The move supports Government ambition to deliver at least a million new homes over the next five years, with the SME sector recognised as playing a crucial element in meeting this objective.

The sector needs Government support to return to something like its former size, as four out of five SME housebuilders in the UK have disappeared from the housing market, with 12,200 SME house builders in 1988 but only 2,400 by 2014.

The SME sector is a crucial player in custom and self build homes, with the Federation of Master Builders House Builders Survey 2019 identifying that over half of its house builder members had built a new home to the specification of the home owner in the last year. NaCSBA is keen to work with the new Government cabinet following its manifesto pledge to support the sector.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said, “Small housebuilders are vital to building the homes this country needs but too often struggle to access affordable finance…[this scheme will do this by] supporting £1 billion of new loans so that local builders can kickstart building, level up the country and turbocharge the housing sector.”

Housing Minister Rt Hon Esther McVey MP added: “When it comes to building houses, we mean business – this fund will give everyday lenders the confidence needed to do deals with smaller builders which get shovels in the ground.”

However, a spokesperson for the National Housing Federation commented that the main barrier to activity lay in under-resourced planning departments, and not routes to finance.

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