The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has announced the launch of the Right to Build Expert Task Force, a pivotal support body that will facilitate custom build growth in the UK.
The new Task Force will support local authorities, community groups and other housing organisations across the UK to deliver large, affordable custom and self-build housing projects.
Over the next three years the Task Force expects to help at least 80 organisations create significantly more affordable homes. NaSCBA will use the Right to Build Portal to share best practice and case studies, supported by regional events to bring on affordable, large-scale custom build.
While in a soft launch phase, the force’s board is establishing its definitions for the terms ‘large’ and ‘affordable’ in connection with its remit. The mechanism for interested parties to get support will involve eligible stakeholders having access to experts for up to a week, offered at half their standard day rate.
Based on the successful Dutch model that supported the growth of custom build at Almere, the new Task Force is funded by the Nationwide Foundation (NF), with government endorsement. The NF aims to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for people with housing need. The fact that the government included the Task Force in its recent Housing White Paper is a reflection of the level of backing the force can expect.
Richard Bacon MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking, who together with NaCSBA championed the introduction of the Right to Build, said: “Although we have these important new powers in England, custom and self build housing will only become mainstream if local authorities and other organisations truly harness these powers.
“This is where the new Right to Build Task Force comes in, with its experts on hand to help. This may be councils needing help setting up or better marketing of their demand registers, or advice in creating planning strategies.
“Alternatively, it could also include affordable housing providers or community groups that need help to engage with councils. I’m confident the Task Force will deliver real change.”
The Task Force aims to help at least 80 organisations create significantly more affordable homes over the next three years. It’s supported by the Building and Social Housing Foundation, National Housing Federation, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Town Planning Institute.
Anyone interested in finding out more can register their interest at the Right to Build Portal’s new Task Force page. This could be for local authorities or housing associations wanting assistance from the Task Force, or to individuals interested in becoming an expert on the panel.
The achievements that The Netherlands have witnessed in large scale custom build can be, in part, attributed to the activities of its task force. An expert panel like this can support councils and other organisations as they bring on their first large custom build sites, helping them as they develop, from the practicalities of sites to marketing and promoting their lists. The Right to Build Task Force will be pivotal in how custom build becomes viewed in the next few years, both in England and across the whole nation.