Hands and houses

A new Help to Build equity loan scheme was announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, another green light for those wanting to custom or self build, says the National and Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA).

The new scheme was announced as part of a package of measures to support more people to build more sustainable and more beautiful homes.

Important for anyone considering a custom or self build, the Comprehensive Spending Review made two important announcements:

  • £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, and funding for SME housebuilders and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
  • £100 million of funding to support, among other things, the release of public sector land, including for serviced plots for self and custom builders.

What do we know about Help to Build?

As yet, there are no firm details about the format or timescale of the Help to Build scheme. However, NaCSBA will be working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to feed into the design of the scheme. NaCSBA has been lobbying for a Help to Build scheme for several years, so welcomes the announcement.

Currently, it is expected that the Help to Build will be an equity loan scheme along the lines of Help to Buy, but with the loan subsidising the mortgage lender, rather than the house builder, as with Help to Buy. However, for now the details remain uncertain. 

The Help to Build will help more people self build who would otherwise struggle to finance a build, great news for the third of people who want to self build, the result of recent research by NaCSBA and the Building Societies Association.

Of these 1 in 3 interested in self building, 59% of respondents said that access to finance remained the most significant barrier preventing them from self building. Help to Build should help remedy this, and make a real difference to the younger age groups where there was the interest in self build was strongest.

NaCSBA will bring you news about Help to Build as soon as it knows more

Serviced plots

NaCSBA also welcomed the news of further funding, especially to support the release of  public sector land for serviced plots. Access to suitable land remains a challenge, as acknowledged by 42% of those surveyed in NaCSBA’s recent research.

Public sector land is land held by councils, government and large institutions, and a commitment to bring some of this land to market for plots could provide a valuable route to land.

Access to plots and ability to secure finance have traditionally been significant challenges for anyone wanting to self build, and these announcements reflect government’s ambition to support more people in their ambition of having an owner-commissioned home.

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.”

Self Build Wales

Help to Build will only be available in England, but Wales already has Self Build Wales, which includes a loan for anyone wanting to self build.

Find out more in Build It magazines interview, or at the scheme’s hompage: Self Build Wales.

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