In most other countries, between a third to a half of all new homes are organised or built by people themselves, yet in the UK less than 10% are currently delivered this way.
In 2014/15, the Nationwide Foundation funded NaCSBA to run a major R&D programme to help more people build their own affordable homes.
The year-long programme involved identifying why other European countries deliver a much higher proportion of their new homes via self build, as well as supporting NaCSBA’s work with about 50 local authorities in the UK helping them deliver more opportunities for people to build or commission their own affordable homes.
In addition, the work examined whether new financial products would help the sector grow and make it easier for people in need of affordable housing to access loans.
The work focussed on two main issues – how to create ready-to-go, modestly priced serviced building plots and how communities can collaborate to jointly commission their own homes.
At the end of 2015, NaCSBA published the Custom and Selfbuild Toolkit (now renamed the Right to Build Toolkit), aimed at communities, planners, and public and private sector housing providers – all of whom may need guidance on how to facilitate more opportunities for people who want to build their own homes. The Toolkit also hosts and gives up to date information about the Right to Build Task Force.
Ultimately the work will help both public and private sector organisations to implement the new self/custom build policies that have been developed by the Government, and it will help to inform Ministers about what financial and other support may be needed in the future.