The idea of self build feels good full stop. What could be more empowering than building your own home?
A new report suggests that self build could fulfil a bigger role in addressing housing need, but local councils could do more to make it happen.
If in doubt that self build can really offer a solution to those less well off (rather than something for older wealthy people pursuing their own grand designs) then a housing project in Lewisham provides a refreshing vision of what can be done, both past and present.
Inspired by a pioneering self build project in Lewisham in the 70's, the council has agreed to hand over a site in Ladywell (through a long term lease) to a Community Land Trust. The Trust will develop homes on the site with a number of shared equity options, including the ability to 'earn' an additional stake through sweat equity - valuing the labour of self builders.
Significantly, this self build project will not only help address current housing need, but protect the ability to provide affordable housing in the future too.
Self-build and custom house building could play a bigger role in fulfilling local housing need, if planning authorities did more to provide plots and incorporated self-build into local plans and policies, according to a new report.