A Self-build Story

Thu 20 Feb 2014

Affordable Self built housing

Self-builds are routes to building your own home and can be achieved in a number of ways – you can build one for yourself, a contractor can build one for you, you can purchase a kit home or you can belong to a community where a group can build their homes together.

You can also choose how much of the project you want to do. Build from scratch? Take over a watertight shell or self-finish the finer details such as fitting a kitchen and doing the decorating.

How can this be affordable though?

We heard that the Cherwell Community Land Trust (CCLT) was doing great things with affordable self-builds so a team of us went to see how they are managing it.

CCLT is working in partnership with Cherwell District Council to bring empty properties back into reuse as one and two bedroom apartments.  Applicants take over their apartment as a shell and carry out the final finishing themselves in return for a discount on the property. Properties are sold with the benefit of an interest free equity loan for up to 20% of the value of the property.

Other schemes in Cherwell (and there are now 15 separate ones with 157 properties) offer a choice of location and ownership. Some people are only interested in owning their new home. Others on limited incomes might be attracted by the idea of part owning/part renting (and perhaps buying the bit they rent at a later stage when their incomes go up). Others are keen to rent a property. All of these options are available.

The Council has brought together a group of staff who under the Build! project offer an individual, or group of people, the opportunity to come together to either build a new home, or to renovate and decorate an existing property.  In return for the work they put in they can benefit from a reduced purchase price or lower rental rates.

During 2014 the Build! Project aims to create 250 new homes in Banbury and Bicester through this project.  The properties will be available to buy on a shared ownership or shared equity basis, or to rent at 80% of the open market value.

And that has got us thinking…..are there people in the East of England who would like to build their own affordable home? We would love to hear from you if so and you can contact us on or 01284 757775

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