The UK Government has launched a series of self build grants and initiatives to help those wanting to build their own home, including those on low incomes.
Communities Minister Don Foster has announced new measures designed to open up the self-build market to a broader range of UK taxpayers, with specific focus on the following targets:
Providing new Grant funding for community self-builders
For the first time community self-build and community-led affordable housing projects will be able to apply for a share of £65 million in self build grants from the Affordable Homes Guarantees Programme to build the affordable homes they want in their area.
Encouraging councils to make more land available for self-build
New planning practice guidance will be introduced to ensure councils establish the demand for self-build in their area, as well as take steps to help aspiring self-builders. This will include compiling a local register of people who want to build their own homes so they can be given first priority when new brownfield sites become available.
Tax Breaks and Removal of Punitive Taxes
New Council Tax discounts will be introduced for self-build family annexes, removing what was seen by many an unfair council tax penalty surcharge. Furthermore, genuine self-builders will be made exempt from paying Section 106 tariffs and the ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’, which will cut the cost of self-build by thousands of pounds.
Bringing self build to the masses
Mr Foster said the measures would help end the popular misconception that self-build is the pastime of the wealthy, rather than a mainstream option. In 2012 to 2013 almost 11,000 new homes were self-built, in an industry worth up to £4 billion for the UK economy.
He explained ministers were determined anyone with aspirations to build their own home has opportunity to do so, and believes the self-build industry can double in size over the next 10 years.
[quote] For many people the concept of building your own home means one thing: a fantasy mansion built by people with deep pockets and endless spare time. We are determined to end this misconception so anyone with aspirations to build their own home has the opportunity to do so, including people on low incomes.[/quote]
The full press release from the Department for Communities & Local Government – covering all aspects of self build grants, freeing up redundant public sector land and plans to make self build mortgages easier to come by – can be found here.