Housing cannot afford to fall off the political agenda and the government should be looking at the scope of custom and self build housing to help tackle the crisis
The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has urged the next government to ensure housing remains a priority.
Tomorrow, the nation will go to the polls to decide who will lead the country through some of the biggest political challenges faced in decades.
For the construction sector the focus remains on the shortage of housing and the lack of skilled workers to deliver major projects and the hope is whichever party gets into power will see these as key areas also.
Self build and custom homes
Self build is a field that has massive potential, and ahead of voting tomorrow the NaCSBA has called for more diversity in who builds new homes.
Chair Michael Holmes said: “Increasing the supply of new homes should be a priority for all political parties. Custom and self build could deliver an additional 40-50,000 new homes a year, increasing affordability, sustainability and housing choice.
“Support for the sector is likely to be popular with the millions who have an ambition to build their own home.
“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 party already supports custom and self build housing. Its Right to Build campaign has the support of Grand Design’s presenter Kevin McCloud, George Clarke, presenter of Amazing Spaces and Charlie Luxton, presenter of Building the Dream.
Commenting on the campaign, 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.”
To create a better, more efficient housing market, the NaCSBA has created its own manifesto. This includes 10 key recommendations for political parties going head-to-head tomorrow.
Raise public awareness – the NaCSBA said Right to Build requires more promotion and suggested a consumer campaign could help more of the 53 per cent of adults who wish to build their own property to do so
Help to Build funding – introducing an equity loan scheme would enable more people to self build, thus get onto the housing ladder while delivering a diverse supply of homes
Make more land available – release public sector land to enable custom and self build construction
Incentivise the public sector – provide initiatives such as low cost funding to help accelerate the delivery of custom build starter homes
Exception site planning permissions – allow communities to decide which sites are appropriate for custom and self build homes for people who satisfy a ‘local connection test’
Encourage landowners to create and sell serviced plots – equalise the tax status for selling land in a single transaction to the volume housebuilders
Tax relief – gifts of land and property for community-led housebuilding should receive tax breaks
Continued tax exemptions for small scale custom and self build – town hall taxes intended for big speculative housebuilders should not be applied to self build developments
Retain local people through self build – rural authorities should encourage people who pass a local connection test to build affordable homes to stay in the area
Simplify the self build process – community groups should find it easier to buy land and gain planning permission. They should also be given preferential bidder status on the sale of public sector land