An innovative self build scheme will be trialled in Swansea to encourage people to build their own homes.
The Self Build Wales scheme is being launched this autumn by the Welsh government to increase the availability of plots.
Ahead of its launch, Swansea Council has agreed to take part in a pilot to test the scheme, with council officers identifying three plots which could be added to the “plot shop” when it goes live.
What is Self Build Wales?
Self Build Wales is a scheme that will assist people with the funding to build their own home. It will be administered by the Development Bank of Wales.
The scheme is designed to appeal to as many people as possible, including first-time buyers and families looking for a bigger home.
Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said: “Self Build Wales is an exciting and highly innovative new scheme that aims to increase the rate of self build opportunities in Wales to address the shortage of affordable housing.
“The scheme has been carefully designed not just to appeal to first-time buyers but to meet the needs of as many people as possible including families in search of a bigger home, people looking to downsize but wanting to stay in their area or those looking for an adapted home.”
Applications for the scheme will open later this year, where self builders will be able to choose a home they wish to build from approved property designs, which will be supplied at the time of plot purchase.
The so-called plot shop, which serves as the core of the scheme, will involve local authorities (such as Swansea Council) identifying plot opportunities then ensuring planning and site requirements are in place before they are sold.
In the event of multiple applications submitted for plots, each application will be assessed by the relevant local authority based on their priorities for the area.
Upon attaining a plot, applicants will only need to provide a deposit of 25% of the cost; the Development Bank of Wales will then provide a self build development loan to cover the balance of the cost of the plot and the full cost of building the property by a contractor that it would need to approve. No repayments need to be made on the loan until the house is completed and mortgaged.
Lewis added: “Self Build Wales addresses the barriers many people face to building their own homes which is why I am excited about its potential.
“There are also wider community benefits such as bringing derelict land into use and supporting local small building companies and the employment opportunities this creates.
“There could be a potential opportunity for future income generation for the council if this project is successful.”