Housing Specification Blog

A Self Build Revolution?

July 27, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Planning & Legislation

Who hasn’t dreamt of designing and building their own home? Perhaps it would feature a swimming pool, or maybe a library with a roaring open fire? The list could go on. This exciting idea does have some substance – and it could be the solution to Britain’s shortfall in housing supply.

Boris Johnson says that the scheme will contribute towards a “new London vernacular”. Click on image for original source.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched an £8m fund to encourage people to build their own homes in the Capital.

The scheme proposes to lend up to 75% of a project’s expenditure to help self builders who’ve been thwarted by the recession.

Successful applicants will also be offered free design advice from leading architects.

Mr Johnson said: “From grand Georgian squares to the brutalist developments of modernity, London’s unique architecture has played a key role in making this city a fantastic place to live, work and invest in.

“As we seek to establish a new vernacular for our capital in the 21st century, this project will put Londoners themselves right at the heart of the creative process.”

The joint initiative, run between the government and self build industry, has launched a new online portal which offers advice on everything from planning to door fixtures.

Under Mr Johnson ‘Build Your Own Home – The Way’ scheme, funds are also available for community projects and recreational developments.

Britain is far behind her Northern American counterparts in the self building stakes. This is largely due to a fundamental lack of land. Housing Minister Grant Shapps says that Britain is about to experience a “self build surge”.

He said: “The funding and advice being offered will provide a big boost to people eager to bring about change and I would urge all Londoners to make use of the funds and support to ensure their community has the best chance to thrive in the future.”

How would you go about creating your dream home? Do you think that self build projects have the power to ease the housing crisis? Please leave your comments below.

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