Government increases support for self-builds

by Sarah Ashcroft

In positive news for landlords across the UK, the government has announced that it will bolster funding for people looking to build their own houses.

According to coalition officials, this is an area of massive growth and is an important contributory element of its overall home-building plan.

But new measures announced yesterday (September 17th) will prove complementary to steps already taken to increase this part of the market.

Grant funding will be provided to community self-builders, with some £65 million available for any group of residents that can show that their construction project will be for the greater good. 

However, properties developed under this category must be relatively cheap, as stated under the Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme.

Communities minister Don Foster also announced that councils will work with self-builders to allow enough land to be available for those planning to construct a new home, as there is currently a shortage of plots on the market that are licensed for this use.

A number of "unfair" taxes will also be removed from the market so that people wanting to develop their own property are not punished for taking this option instead of using pre-existing housing stock.

Mr Foster commented: "We will give community-led groups the chance to apply for a share of £65 million to build the affordable homes they want in their area and introduce other measures to boost access to land and end unfair taxes.

"These measures will open the door for hundreds of potential building projects across the country and consolidate the progress we’ve already made to establish self-build as a mainstream option."

While landlords are not specifically mentioned in the plans, communities looking to develop new properties as a group will certainly have a right to argue that renting out their self-build will have substantial benefits for the local economy - justifying the potential awarding of grant money.

However, it's unclear if the plans announced by Mr Foster will be put to Parliament before the election in 2015.

Published on: September 18, 2013

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