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Report addresses barriers to building your own home

The housing secretary has welcomed a report addressing barriers to custom and self-build homes, as the government considers options to make building your own home easier and more affordable.

The report, commissioned by the Prime Minister and carried out by Richard Bacon MP, finds potential in the sector for self-build homes, which could deliver 30-40,000 more homes every year.

The report made six recommendations, including a greater role for Homes England with the creation of a new Custom and Self Build Housing Delivery Unit to support the creation and delivery of serviced plots, and the creation of a ‘Show Park’ for self-build housing to raise awareness.

It also recommended revamping the Community Housing Fund to create more opportunities for communities to build, promoting greener homes and increased use of modern methods of manufacturing, aligning custom and self-build changes with planning reforms, and ironing out tax issues to create a level playing field between self-built and speculatively built homes.

The government has already committed £150m for the Help to Build scheme, which will allow home builders to borrow money with lower deposits, alongside funding for local councils to create high quality serviced plots that are ready for home builders.

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Housing secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said: ‘As we build back better, we want to help more people build their own home, making it an option for thousands who’ve not considered it or ruled it out before. This will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.

‘I warmly welcome Richard Bacon’s report which matches our ambitions for the custom and self-build sector. We will consider it fully and respond to the recommendations in due course. The launch of the Help to Build equity loan scheme will be a game-changer to the self and custom build market and will allow individuals to borrow with lower deposit mortgages which will go towards the design and build of their new home.’

Richard Bacon MP added: ‘We need to build more and better new homes. Custom and self-build can help achieve this, by putting customers and their choices back at the heart of the process. When customers come first, we will see more homes built – that are better designed, better built, greener and which cost less to run – and which are warmly welcomed by their communities. This review sets out a route map for how we can achieve this much needed change.’

In related news, over £20bn has been lent to help people into homeownership since the start of the Help to Buy scheme, with recent figures showing a record number of people buying a home through the scheme last year.

Photo by Brian Babb

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