26 April 2021

Self and custom build is affordable housing and a market disruptor

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) is wholly behind the Governments self and custom build announcements.

 This will see:

  • £150 million Help to Build scheme 
  • A Prime Minister-commissioned review to establish a plan to scale up self and custom build homes  
  • A review of the Right to Build legislation  
  • A Self and Custom Build Land Release Fund  
  • Funding for the Right to Build Task Force (www.righttobuild.org.uk)  

 
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning for the House Builders Association (HBA), the housing division of the NFB, said: “Self-build and extensions were the only way my family could afford genuine family sized housing and my parents took great financial and emotional risks to get these projects going. We wholly support the Government alleviating some of the planning and financing stresses which come with building your own home but the question is, will councils show willing?” 

 
The Right to Build Task Force has and will be instrumental in enabling self and custom build and lobbied hard for policy changes and greater funding to enable more of these opportunities to come forward. They, along with National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) are key to understanding these challenges. However, as they have correctly identified, a review of the planning system to enable these homes is very much required if it is to increase consumer choice and disrupt the housing market. 

 

Wojtulewicz, continued: “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 (LDO), 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.”