26 June 2022

Help to Build Scheme officially launches

By Self Build Zone

Help to Build is now open to applications today Monday 27th June to help people with the cost of building their own homes. The government has pledged several actions to boost self and custom build, including setting up a new unit within Homes England to support the sector.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has today published its response to an independent report by MP Richard Bacon looking into ways to scale up self-build and custom housebuilding.

This comes just two weeks after Boris Johnson’s housing speech where he pledged the government’s commitment to the custom and self build sector. The Help to Build scheme is an equity loan scheme specifically developed to help aspiring homebuilders finance their custom or self build. According to the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA). around 13,000 self build homes were built in 2021.

The scheme is designed to make it more affordable and realistic for more people to self build their homes, with the government believing that it could contribute to 30,000-40,000 new homes a year in the UK.

Responding to the government’s official confirmation of the launch on Friday, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of NaCSBA, said:

“Help to Build is important because it opens up custom and self build as an option to those with smaller budgets and in particular smaller savings. Access to finance is just part of the answer.

“The key constraint is access to land with permission to build. This challenge is being addressed in part through the Right to Build legislation, which requires local authorities to ensure enough plots are permissioned to match the demand on the registers that they operate.”

How Will Help to Build Work?

You’ll need a deposit of at least 5% for the equity loan – as well as a self build mortgage to pay for the land and build phase

You can spend up to £600,000 on your new home – which must include the cost of the land if you don’t already own it, and no more than £400,000 on the cost to build it

You’ll have 3 years to buy the land (if needed) and build your home upon being offered an equity loan

Your mortgage lender will release funds to you at various stages of the build until your home is finished.

When do you pay the loan fees? You only get your equity loan and start to pay fees for it after you’ve built your home

What happens upon completion? Upon build completion, the government will pay your mortgage lender the equity loan amount offered to you, and your self build mortgage will automatically switch to a repayment mortgage.

Karen Curtin, managing director at Graven Hill, believes the Help to Build scheme was long overdue, and is a signal that the UK is finally moving in the right direction to shake up a housing market that still relies on outdated construction mindsets and approaches.

Graven Hill is the largest opportunity for people who want to design their own home. They make self-build possible and offer custom build homes which can be personalised.

Karen comments:

“The Help to Build scheme is a dream come true for many would-be self-builders, and we’re in full support of the initiative. With applications now open, the UK is finally moving in the right direction as we continue to revolutionise the housing market. Gone are the days of self and custom building being for the few – we are thrilled to see it become an option for the many.

“Self and custom building have always been popular at Graven Hill, and we expect to see interest continue to increase as a result of the scheme. In the current climate, the financial support that Help to Build will provide has never been more welcome.”

She added:

“Offering people choice has always been our priority, with accessibility at the heart of Graven Hill. Our existing support already includes Plot Passports which provide a simplified planning process and allow fast track planning, enabling us to make the self and custom-building process as straightforward as possible. Help to Build now means there is even more opportunity for all homeowners to create a home that’s tailormade to their needs.”

Help to Build “could open up a range of opportunities” and provide financial assistance to a generation of aspiring self builders, according to MP Richard Bacon. Mr Bacon, an ambassador of the Right to Build Task Force, has also said the scheme could be transformational for increasing access to the self build market.






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