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UK Government Launches £150m ‘Help to Build’ Scheme

A £150m scheme to help people build their own homes has been kicked off by the government.

The plans, which were announced over the weekend, will see provide funding under a ‘Help to Build’ scheme to make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own homes.

In a statement, the Government said: “The ‘Help to Build’ scheme will ensure that self and custom home building can become a realistic option to get onto the housing ladder through lower deposit mortgages.”

Firm details on the scheme were thin, but the government spoke of lowering deposits in order to free up capital. It added: “The scheme will provide an equity loan on the completed home, similar to the Help to Buy scheme.”

Robert Jenrick, the government’s housing secretary, said: “Building your own home shouldn’t be the preserve of a small number of people, but a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country. That’s why we are making it easier and more affordable – backed by over £150 million new funding from the government.”

The plans were met with an immediate, positive reception from within the industry.

Mark Hayward, policy lead at Propertymark, said: “The property market is facing a high demand at the moment and making it easier for people to build their own homes will create more stock for the property market going forward. With more individual choice, the new housing built will be tailor made to suit the communities they become a part of whilst contributing to the governments house building targets.”

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) also chimed in, saying that it was ‘wholly behind the Government’s self and custom-build announcements’.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning for the House Builders Association, the NFB’s housing division, questioned whether councils would show the same willingness as the government.

He added: “Councils already have mechanisms at their disposal to enable self and custom build. Three years ago, our recommendations for a subdivision of large sites policy were taken forward but has yet to really take hold and we have become increasingly frustrated at how few councils use Local Development Orders, which could zone self-build opportunities and give much-needed planning certainty. Councils always complain about needing more affordable housing and meeting true demand – two clear outcomes of self and custom build – but they’ve barely enabled the fantastic self-build register, which has thousands of registrants but delivered barely any homes. We need a self-build revolution and the NFB are wholly behind all efforts to ensure it becomes a reality.”