The NaCSBA Research & Development team will be attending the Right to Build Summit at the House of Commons this evening in support of the ongoing consultation on the Right To Build. The event also marks the official launch of a major (c.£180k) research and development programme – driven by NaCSBA and funded by The Nationwide Foundation – designed to boost overall housing output, and in particular to make it much easier for people on modest incomes to build their own homes.
The Summit is being hosted jointly by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom Build & Independent Housebuilding and the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA), and is intended to support the consultation process on the Right To Build consultation paper, currently out for comment. You can read the full paper and respond with comments here.
In most other countries, between a third to a half of all new homes are organised or built by people themselves, yet in the UK less than 10% are currently delivered this way. However, a recent survey suggested that there are seven million people in the UK who are keen on self-building, and many of them are on modest incomes.
The year-long research programme – launched alongside the Summit – will involve identifying why other European countries deliver a much higher proportion of their new homes via self-build. The project will also involve working with around 50 local authorities in the UK to help them to facilitate thousands of opportunities for people to build or commission their own homes. In addition the work will examine whether new financial products would help the sector grow and make it easier for people in need of affordable housing to access loans enabling them to self-build.
The team will focus on the nuts-and-bolts of how ‘serviced plots’ and ‘building groups’ are delivered and facilitated in practice elsewhere and seek translatable tools for the UK context. The first phase of work involves identifying examples of innovative best practice from abroad and the team have already assembled a detailed research trip to Scotland in the next couple of weeks. The team also plan to visit Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands to complement the growing body of initiatives coming forward in England, and to complete detailed desktop studies of cases from other countries – such as the USA and Australia – where ‘custom build’ is well-established as a means of delivering modestly-priced homes.
The team are keen to hear from anyone with useful insight into the subject outlined above. If you have any suggestions of innovative practices that should be investigated, would like to contribute to, or have any questions about the project, then please get in touch via the ‘contact us’ tool on the project’s dedicated webpages.
There will also be regular project blog posts from the team available at the address above, and you can follow our work on Twitter.
*** PS – Images from the Right To Build Summit can now be viewed below. All images from @NaCSBA_RnD ***