Self and custom build housing could give home movers “more choice”

Proposals to help more people build their own homes have been ‘warmly welcomed’ by the Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP following the release of a report commissioned to improve the housebuilding industry by giving customers more choice, and to make home building a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country.

Richard Bacon MP’s review of Custom and Self Build, commissioned by the Prime Minister, finds huge potential in the sector which could deliver 30-40,000 more homes every year, and recommends a major-scaling up of self-built homes to boost the overall housing supply. This will see homes that can be built in weeks that are better designed, built to the highest environmental standards and with cheaper household bills.

Commenting Prime minister Boris Johnson,  said:

“Self-build and custom housebuilding can play a crucial role in increasing choice for consumers and ensuring people can live in the homes that they want, and that are designed to meet their needs.”

The report clearly identified the need for Government to support greater investment into the sector, recognising the important role that enablers can play to drive up scale through custom build housing. It has committed £150 million for the Help to Build scheme which will allow home builders to borrow money with lower deposits. It is also providing funding for local councils to create high quality serviced plots that are ready to go, stepping up self and custom build housing projects across the UK.

The Bacon Review puts forward 6 recommendations:

  • A greater role for Homes England, with the creation of a new Custom and Self Build Housing Delivery Unit supporting the creation of serviced plots on small and large sites and delivery at scale.
  • Raise awareness and show by ‘doing’, including with a custom and self build ‘Show Park’ and a more robust approach to legislation.
  • Support community, diversity and levelling up – and crucially by reigniting the Community Housing Fund and creating more opportunities for communities to build.
  • Promote greener homes and increased use of Modern Methods of Manufacturing (MMC) – custom and self build is a leading innovator in these areas, and could be used to signpost the future for government’s MMC and Net Zero Housing ambitions.
  • Align custom and self build changes with planning reforms – in particular through maximising opportunities for permissioned land for custom and self build, across all tenures.
  • Iron out tax issues to create a level playing field between this type of homes and speculatively built homes.

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.

The Bacon Review puts forward 6 recommendations:

  • A greater role for Homes England, with the creation of a new Custom and Self Build Housing Delivery Unit supporting the creation of serviced plots on small and large sites and delivery at scale.
  • Raise awareness and show by ‘doing’, including with a custom and self build ‘Show Park’ and a more robust approach to legislation.
  • Support community, diversity and levelling up – and crucially by reigniting the Community Housing Fund and creating more opportunities for communities to build.
  • Promote greener homes and increased use of Modern Methods of Manufacturing (MMC) – custom and self build is a leading innovator in these areas, and could be used to signpost the future for government’s MMC and Net Zero Housing ambitions.
  • Align custom and self build changes with planning reforms – in particular through maximising opportunities for permissioned land for custom and self build, across all tenures.
  • Iron out tax issues to create a level playing field between this type of homes and speculatively built homes.

Richard Bacon MP said:

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.

Mario Wolf, Director of Planning & Strategic Engagement at Custom Build Homes who were commissioned to conduct primary research to help better understand the preferences of consumers over where and what type of homes they want to build, said:

“This Report marks a major milestone in the drive to scale-up the custom and self-build housing sector in this country and we welcome its conclusions and recommendations.

“Richard has looked comprehensively at the growth potential of custom and self-build housing as a driver for more and better designed homes and much greater consumer choice. He has concluded there is a significant market ready to be unlocked through a series of targeted actions. We look forward to continuing to work with Richard and the Government to secure the timely implementation of his recommendations.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will publish more detail on Help to Build shortly followed by its official response to the Bacon Review in the Autumn, including reviewing options on how best to support Custom and Self-build (CSB) housebuilding.

The government’s reforms to the planning system will help support the CSB industry by streamlining and modernising the planning process, bringing a new focus to design and sustainability and ensuring more land is available for development where it is needed.

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