A host of self build celebrities, including Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs and George Clarke of Amazing Spaces, have backed the National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) call for the next government to make fixing the UK’s ‘broken’ housing market a priority.
NaCSBA, formed in 2008 with the aim of proving that custom and self-build housing, has compiled a 10 point manifesto that it believes can make a significant contribution to home building in the UK to help improve the housing market.
Commenting on the campaign, Kevin McCloud, said: “The crises in the quality, quantity and affordability of British housing is one of the most corrosive economic and social issues of our time. Time which is running out.”
Increasing the supply of new homes should be a priority for all political parties, according to NaCSBA chair, Michael Holmes, who believes that custom and self build could deliver up to 50,000 new homes a year, increasing “affordability, sustainability and housing choice”.
He commented: “Growing the custom and self build sector will help to democratise housebuilding, giving local communities more control over who gets to build what and where.
“Communities will have the ability to meet local housing demand, ensuring that future generations can afford to become homeowners in the area in which they live and work and that there is suitable housing for older people.”
The NaCSBA manifesto lists 10 key asks of political parties and the next government that are essential for a better housing market:
1. Raise public awareness of the Right to Build in England (and equivalent in Scotland, Wales and NI) with a consumer campaign to help more of the 53% of adults who would like to build their own home to fulfill their ambition
2. Introduce a ‘Help to Build’ equity loan scheme for affordable self build homes to help more people get on the housing ladder and deliver a more diversified supply of new homes
3. Release more public sector land for the creation of serviced custom and self build plots – including low cost, affordable plots
4. Incentivise the public sector, for instance through access to low cost funding, to develop custom build starter homes to accelerate delivery and extend housing choice
5. Allow communities to use exception site planning permissions for Custom and Self Build homes where they are for local people, key workers and others who satisfy a ‘local connection test’
6. Incentivise landowners to create and sell serviced plots direct to market by equalizing the tax status with that for selling land in a single transaction to the volume housebuilders
7. Introduce tax relief for gifts of land and property for community led housebuilding
8. Continue to exempt small scale Custom and Self build developments from town hall taxes intended for the big speculative housebuilders – and ensure this is available across the UK
9. Encourage rural authorities to allow people who meet a local connection test to build an affordable home so they can stay in the area (retained at a discount to market value in perpetuity)
10. Simplify the process for community groups to buy land and get planning permission for homes, including preferential bidder status on the sale of public sector land