National Custom & Self Build Association (Nacsba)

Funding at a glance

Amount: £179,600
Approved: 2014

Nacsba was funded to explore how to make it much easier for people on modest incomes to self-build their own affordable homes.

In most other countries, between a third to a half of all new homes are organised or built by people themselves, yet in the UK only far fewer are delivered this way. The year-long project identified why other European countries deliver a much higher proportion of their new homes via self-build and suggested how this could be adapted for the UK to help address the shortage of affordable homes.

The work focussed on two main ways of boosting output of affordable self-build homes:

  • The delivery of ready-to-go, modestly-priced serviced building plots. For example, in France it is currently possible to buy a decent fully-serviced building plot for about £20,000
  • How communities can collaborate to jointly commission their own homes. For example, in Berlin around 15% of all the new homes currently being built are now organised by local ‘building groups’; the homes are custom designed to suit their occupants, and they also typically work out about 25% cheaper than conventional market-built properties

Nacsba produced an online toolkit which was launched at 10 Downing Street in December 2015. The toolkit is intended to help council leaders take forward initiatives and better support people on modest incomes to build their own homes. Nacsba also worked across the housing and planning sectors and within the financial community, in an effort to break down barriers to this model of housing.

Back to projects we funded 2013-16