Govt launches £150m ‘Help to Build’ scheme

Jake Carter

April 26, 2021

parliament housing minister

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has launched a £150m ‘Help to Build’ scheme which will provide an equity loan on the completed home, similar to the Help to Buy scheme.

The borrower pays a 5% deposit, the government provides a loan of 20% and the other 75% of the build cost is through a self build mortgage.

The main difference between Help to Build and Help to Buy is that the government loan is paid to the mortgage lender rather than the house builder.

According to the government, self and custom build could deliver 30,000 to 40,000 new homes a year.

The scheme is part of the government’s wider Plan for Jobs as the new plans will also benefit small building firms.

SME builders account for one in 10 new homes and the scheme will help scale up the number of self and custom build homes built every year.

The Prime Minister has commissioned Richard Bacon MP to lead a review on how we can scale up the delivery of self and custom build homes.

The review will report its findings and recommendations in the summer.

The government has also announced £2.1m in funding to help communities have a greater say in how their local area is developed.

The fund will boost neighbourhood planning by giving additional support to local authorities in under-represented areas.

A further £330,000 is also available to councils wishing to pilot this approach to neighbourhood planning.

The self and custom build action plan has too been published today, which sets out government measures to support the sector.

This includes the next steps in the review of the Right to Build legislation, to assess whether further reforms are needed and confirmation of further funding for the Right to Build Task Force.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, said: “Building your own home shouldn’t be the preserve of a small number of people, but a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country.

“That’s why we are making it easier and more affordable – backed by over £150m new funding from the government.

“The scheme we have launched today will help the thousands of people who’d like to build their own home but who’ve not yet considered it or previously ruled it out.

“Our plans will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs like home working or caring for relatives, whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, chief executive of National Custom and Self Build Association, added: “The Help to Build scheme is an important step towards greater customer choice for those with ambition, sound plans and smaller deposits.

“Custom and self build is about the homeowner having control over the design and specification of their project – enabling them to create the home they want, rather than the one someone else believes they would like.

“This scheme is all about delivering more and better homes, that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built.”

Raymond Connor, chief executive of BuildLoan, said: “We are extremely supportive of the Help to Build scheme and have been advocating this for a long time.

“It is similar in nature to the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme and will be a real boost to the self and growing custom build market.

“This scheme opens up self build to more people as they only need a 5% deposit instead of typically 20%.

“We know there is pent up demand for people wanting to build their own home as evidenced by 55,000 people signed up to local authority Right to Build registers.

“Volume house builders dominate the new build market but this scheme will open up opportunities for SME property developers to expand the custom build sector.

“This announcement demonstrates the government’s commitment to the diversification of housing in the UK by supporting self and custom build.

“In anticipation of this announcement, BuildLoan has been developing products to support the Help to Build scheme and we are working with lenders ready and willing to lend.”

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