New housing minister Esther McVey has pledged the government’s support for Right to Build as a means of improving housing in the UK.

In her first speech as housing minister, McVey said earlier this month that escalating housing prices “cannot be right,” referring to house prices in some parts of the country rising to between eight and 44 times average local earnings since the 1990s. 

McVey was speaking at the Resi conference in Newport, Wales, where she emphasised the government’s support for Right to Build, and how more self builders, custom builders or renovators will be better placed to build their own home. 

Discussing Right to Build, McVey said: “So many places around the world have far more people building their own homes, so we’re going to be there, whether it’s support for Right to Buy or Right to Build.

“There are so many houses to build — we need to open up all of those opportunities. And also supporting communities, for communities to build.”

McVey added that “so many people in our public sector […] deserve a home of their home of their own and they are looking to us to see what we can do. So that’s 300,000 more homes a year to build. Each and every year.” 

What is Right to Build?

Right to Build is a scheme designed to get more people building their own homes, encouraging councils in England to make more plots available to self builders and custom builders. 

Self builders and custom builders can sign up to their nearest council register at www.righttobuildportal.org.

A total of 18,000 people signed up to these registers between 1 April – 30 October 2016, during the first partial year of the legislation. 

Now, ahead of Right to Build Day on October 2019, local authorities will be required to evidence that they can meet the demands for these plots. 

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