The government has launched a new scheme to make building your own home affordable

Over £150 million in funding will be made available as part of the brand-new help to build scheme. Here's how it will work

A brand new 'Help to Build' scheme has been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. The new scheme promises to help make it more affordable for people to build their own home in a similar way to the popular 'Help to Buy' scheme.

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The scheme will apply to all types of self builds, whether it's a commission, made to order home or a new design from scratch. It will operate in a similar way to the Help to Buy scheme and provide an equity loan on the completed home.

A Help to Buy for self-builders

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 Custom built homes can be cheaper than buying an existing property, but they're still by no means cheap. The average cost of a self-build home in the UK is currently around £270,000, placing them out of reach of most people. The 'Help to Build' scheme aims to address that by making self-building accessible on low-deposit mortgages, just like any other home.

'Building your own home shouldn’t be the preserve of a small number of people, but a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country,' says Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.

'That’s why we are making it easier and more affordable – backed by over £150 million new funding from the Government. The scheme we have launched today will help the thousands of people who’d like to build their own home but who’ve not yet considered it or previously ruled it out.'

Self builds could also address the growing need for more sustainable homes – and home designs that better cater to post-pandemic home working. 'Our plans will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs like home working or caring for relatives, whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.'

The rising popularity of self builds

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Custom builds and self-builds are a growing section of the property economy in the UK. In 2020, 15,902 self builds were built in the UK – still a small number, but 1,000 more than in 2019.

Made to order homes allow people to customise the home they want based on existing designs. This could include more office space, or a particular design to support a family’s requirements including for disabled or older people. 

sloping roof house with exposed brick walls and garden

(Image credit: Future)

According to the Government, self and custom build could deliver 30-40,000 new homes a year, which would be a significant contribution to the country’s housebuilding ambitions.

Related: Chancellor announces the return of 95 per cent mortgages - everything you need to know

The scheme is part of the Government’s wider Plan for Jobs as the new plans will also benefit small building firms. SME builders account for one in ten new homes and the scheme will help scale up the number of self and custom build homes built every year.

Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.