City bosses are making it easier for Brummies to build their own homes including exclusively offering plots of land for the Grand Designs-style self-build projects.
Small parcels of land, unsuitable for major council house building projects, will be offered to those on an official register of self-builders to stop developers out bidding them.
The council will also offer, deferred payment for plots, a smoother planning processes and offer guidance on securing Government tax breaks and grants.
And package of policies, designed to promote self-build and custom-build, where specialist developers work with an owner, projects, was approved by the Labour council cabinet.
There are currently about 10,000 self-build homes constructed every year in the UK and Birmingham City Council sees it as key way to both help ambitious Brummies and meet housing targets.
Strategic director of development Waheed Nazir said: “I think that self-build and custom build have real potential to make a genuine contribution to meeting the housing needs of the city. There are many people in the city who aspire to build their own home and the council is keen to support them by making surplus council land available for them to buy.”
There have previously been a small number of self-build projects in Brimingham, including on the Castle Vale estate about 15 years ago.
The new measures include:
- Maintaining a self-build register of people who want to build their own homes;
- Making surplus council land available for those on the register as one of the biggest barriers to self-builders is being able to find sites;
- Ensuring that the council’s planning system recognises the contribution that self-build can make by including it within new planning guidelines
- Making it easier for self-builders to afford to buy council land such as through deferred payments
- Ensuring developers working on large scale sites to set aside some plots for self-build projects.
Meanwhile the council has also adopted a new wide-ranging housing policy which sets out guidelines for the development of high quality new housing and plans to improve existing homes. It has also struck a deal which will see 800 long term empty properties done up by its InReach company and put out to rent over the next four years.
Council leader John Clancy said: “Housing transforms lives and transforms futures. It has an impact on people’s physical and mental health, it has impacts on education and much more. Providing people with better, more secure and more affordable homes is a big priority for Birmingham. We are ready to work with anyone and to do things very differently to achieve that aim.
“Taken together these three reports show that we will tackle Birmingham’s housing shortage in creative and innovative ways, working with people across the sector to ensure that we deliver homes and make Birmingham a great place to live for all.”