Housing White Paper indicates strong support for self-builders

Self-build project

A number of measures have been outlined in the government’s Housing White Paper which could make life easier for custom and self-builders, local authorities and developers.

The policy paper, which was released in February, sets out the government’s plans to reform the housing market and boost the supply of new homes in England. It highlights the simple fact that not enough homes are being built. It also suggests that greater opportunities should be given to those who are willing and able to make a difference.

PM Theresa May said: “We will diversify the housing market, opening it up to smaller builders and those who embrace innovative and efficient measures.”

However, a healthy dose of realism is also present in the paper. It states that the number of new homes registered by small builders is down from 44,000 in 2007 to just 18,000 in 2015 – a direct result of the credit crisis and the shrinkage in the population of small builders.

In response, the government has again indicated strong support for the custom and self-build market, with a commitment to promote the National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) Right to Build portal.

Greencore Construction’s managing director, Ian Pritchett, commented: “Clearly this slow-down in housebuilding will take years to reverse. It’s not helped by the fact that many small builders have now retired and will not come back into the industry. Skills and experience have been lost and will not be replaced quickly.

“It’s vital that those involved in the custom build market do their bit to promote and support positive change. We have links to the Right to Build portal on Greencore’s website and are also exploring how best we can support self-builders and custom builders at development projects such as Graven Hill in Oxfordshire.”

The paper also suggests that support will be given to housing associations to encourage them to build more.

“This is great news for housing associations,” said Ian. “Greencore is keen to work with housing associations in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area to develop new sites in sustainable and cost-effective ways.”

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