New homes in Lincolnshire

The government’s recently published Levelling Up White Paper includes a new Levelling Up Home Build Fund that NaCSBA welcomes as a route to development finance for small and medium house builders, the companies that deliver the nation’s custom and self build homes.

NaCSBA welcomes the fact that the fund specifically cites custom and self build sites as a way of securing innovation, both in the kind of homes that are built and the ways in which they are delivered, such as through MMC or new routes.

Homes England states that examples of innovative projects that might need funding could include:

  • serviced plots for custom and self-builders
  • off-site manufacturing
  • new entrants to the market
  • community-led housing projects
  • groups of small firms working together to deliver larger sites.

Administered by Homes England, the government’s housing delivery agency, the Levelling Up Home Build Fund provides investment directly to developers, in the form of loans, and also to specialist lenders.

This is designed to support SMEs who would otherwise struggle to access development finance, which is one of barriers to growth for the sector. Although loans can start from £250,000, the average loans is in the range of £2-5 million.

Not only does this enable new entrants into the housing sector, but it helps diversify the market, a key goal of government and one that supports custom and self building. Criteria to borrow exists, including that builders wishing to apply must have majority control of the site, which must make provision for five or more homes. Visit to find out more.

Homes England is also keen for the Levelling Up Home Building Fund to evolve, such as with alliances with the the private sector, or through potential joint ventures to support wider ambitions. This includes infrastructure loans to help unlock and accelerate land for housing development.

This can help unlock barriers to building homes, that can affect viable strategic housing sites.

Use Homes England’s enquiry form to find out more about the fund.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also welcomed the publication of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, with Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB saying: “The FMB welcomes the announcement of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, containing a number of recommendations that have the potential to boost small, local builders… For levelling up to be a success, effective and joined up working across government departments will be vital.”

Berry continued: “For local housebuilders, loans through the Home Building Fund should be targeted at reversing the decline in SME housebuilders, who are now delivering only 12% of our housing stock, down from 40% in the 1980s. Local housebuilders develop on underutilised land that will be vital for hitting housing targets. However, these plans must make sure we’re helping to deliver new homes where demand is highest.”

Berry continued: “It’s positive that the Government is taking steps to improve the quality and energy efficiency of our existing housing stock in the private-rented sector. Local builders will be critical to the success of this policy and should be considered at each point of its implementation. Similarly, the strategy’s ambition to create locally developed and led skills plans is much needed. Small building companies train 71% of all construction apprentices, and have a central role to play in training the next generation of tradespeople and offering highly skilled, highly profitable careers.”

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