Housing Minister backs self-builders with government money

Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP this week announced that the Government will ‘put its money where its mouth is’ and help more people to build their own homes.

Housing Minister backs self-builders with government money

Speaking at the exhibition Grand Designs Live 2011, Shapps said that he wanted self build to become a mainstream housing option – and that Government will play its part by making available publicly owned land for use by ordinary people to build their own homes.

Self-builders already account for about one in five of Britain’s new homes each year.

Shapps said he wanted to see more land being made available – both private and public – to enable more individual and community self build schemes, so he called on private investors to bring forward plots, and for local authorities and Housing Associations to show their support.

And he said that he will shortly announce the first publicly-owned sites to be made available to housebuilders to include plots exclusively for self-builders.

Shapps said: “Self builders deliver affordable, greener and more innovatively-designed homes; and make a big contribution to the number of new homes built in this country, yet there is scope to significantly increase the number of self built homes in the UK – both for individual households and for community-driven projects.

“I want to turn around the fortunes of self-builders by cutting the red tape and bureaucracy they often face and make self build a reality for many more people. I’m encouraged by the ongoing work of our self-build working group, which is making good progress in developing an action plan to reduce the barriers that aspiring self-builders often face. These efforts will help bring self-build into the mainstream, and not simply be the preserve of the privileged few – meaning not just Grand Designs, but common designs.

“And today, I can confirm that the Government will lead the way to promote more self build housing by using the Government’s Build Now, Pay Later scheme to earmark public sector land, with plots available exclusively for self-builders.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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