How housing associations could make land available for self build
Earlier this month, housing minister Grant Shapps revealed the Government’s ambitions to turn self-build into a mainstream housing option.
At this year’s Grand Designs Live event he called on housing associations and councils to offer up land to self-build communities to drive the ambition forward.
He said a working group he commissioned in February to look at the existing barriers to self-build will report back in the Summer.
Here, Raymond Connor, CEO, BuildStore Financial Services, part of the working group, analyses how housing associations and councils could support the housing minister’s vision.
“Until now, self build housing has generally been limited to individuals working on infill or other individual plots producing “one-off” homes. However, there is growing interest, including from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in larger-scale, enabled ‘self procured’ development, and there is significant potential for this model to be adopted to provide more affordable housing.
“BuildStore believes that the self procurement model is a viable option for housing associations and local authorities to make land available to organised groups for the purpose of creating more self build housing. This is also a model that sits well with the Government’s aspiration for new housing to be driven by local communities.
“The benefits of delivering homes in this way are two-fold. Firstly, it reduces the impact of two significant development costs i.e. the cost of land, and the developer’s profit. With housing associations providing the land, either at full, reduced or nil value, and developers profit taken out of the equation, housing can be created at a drastically reduced cost.
“Additionally, it can be adapted to meet specific housing need in the community, with ‘tenure-blind’ housing developments. Mixed tenures will work particularly well with this model, with the added advantage of creating a more integrated site that eradicates the isolation or separation of affordable housing, with no obvious distinction between the homes built under different tenures.
“We believe that the mortgage packages to fund this model can now be made available, so this is a real opportunity to boost the supply of affordable housing.”