Self builders in Wales will be given greater opportunities to build their own homes thanks to a Government scheme in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales.
The programme aims to make self build more affordable for residents by providing loans to access land as well as fast-track routes to planning.
Councils and housing associations are to release a series of serviced plots – land permissioned and ready for development – as part of this scheme.
The Development Bank of Wales will offer loans on the pre-agreed plots which will be repayment free until the new home is mortgaged. This will allow people to buy land and cover costs of living while their project takes place.
In a move similar to Help-to-Buy, applicants can reserve land by providing 25% of the deposit, with the rest financed by the Welsh Government through the Development Bank. The scheme will be available to people who are building their main residence, which is not to be rented or sold in five years.
What’s more, self builders can choose to use an approved builder or in certain circumstances tackle the work themselves.
Read more: Self Build Routes & Costs
“We want to make self build available to many more people in Wales, not just the most privileged households,” said Welsh Housing Minister Julie James.
“Finding the land, navigating planning consents and being able to afford to self build while covering the cost of living can be real barriers.
“We have launched this scheme in partnership with local authorities to overcome all of these barriers. This offers a route into home ownership for people who want to stay in their local area but haven’t previously been able to afford to buy there.
“It also offers older and disabled people the opportunity to build custom adaptive housing that meets their needs in the communities where they want to live.”
Who is this scheme for?
We talk to Hannah Blythyn, deputy minister for housing and local government in Wales, about the pioneering self build scheme
“The key thing is that it’s not aimed at any specific demographic or person. It has been created to open up the dream of being able to self build and own a home to more people.
“The scheme is for anyone who aspires to become a homeowner and meets the financial criteria needed to ensure it’s affordable for them.
“At the moment, most independent construction projects tend to be undertaken by those who have the resources to do so – ie they are reasonably well off. This is an opportunity to broaden the appeal of self build and make it more realisable for more people.
“The plots will be as fully prepared as possible and available to everyone – not just first-time property buyers.”
The scheme will launch in late spring this year, when the first £40 million will be released. More information about the workings of this scheme is expected to become available during the following months on the Your Home in Wales website.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of the National Custom and Self-Build Association, said: “Putting the homeowner in charge leads to more homes of better quality and value. It helps bond the homeowner to the community where such homes are built.
“This package of measures sends a clear message that Wales welcomes and supports self builders and we are excited to see the positive benefits that will flow from this announcement.”