Self-built houses 'can help tackle England's generational property divide', says Tory MP's review

England is “in danger of becoming two nations” with some finding it difficult to find a home while others make huge profits from rental properties, an MP reviewing how to increase the construction of custom and self-built houses has warned.

There is a growing divide between homeowners and those in rented properties, a new report has warned.

Conservative MP Richard Bacon is calling for greater choice to be available to people struggling to get on the property ladder, and wants this country to follow European nations and increase the number of plots of land available for self-commissioned housing.

In his report - commissioned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson - the MP for South Norfolk describes England as “in danger of becoming two nations - one nation in which a whole generation struggles to find somewhere to live at all, while the other adds to its buy to let portfolio”.

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Mr Bacon calls for a new custom and self build housing delivery unit to be created within Homes England, and support for projects through planning reform which maximise the opportunity to access land with permissions for these sorts of builds.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has put forward recommendations to make it easier for people to build their own properties. Picture: PA

He said: “When we have fully opened up the housing market and the planning process to the peer of consumer choices we will see more great places being developed which are warmly welcomed by their communities with beautiful and more spacious houses at keener prices.

"When afterwards we have done this, we will look back and wonder why it took us so long.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today welcomed the report and said encouraging people to build their own properties will help more onto the housing ladder.

Mr Bacon added: “The reason rental prices are so high in this country is we don’t have enough rental properties, it’s as simple as that. The reason house prices are so high is we don’t have enough houses.

"The supply of housing doesn’t rise to meet the demand and I think fixing that requires a much greater focus on the people who are going to live in the houses.”

The report follows the Government’s announcement of a £150m ‘Help to Build’ scheme earlier this year to make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own properties.

In an echo of the Help to Buy scheme, the initiative will provide an equity loan on the completed home.

The Government hopes up to 40,000 new self and custom-built homes could be built each year.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will publish more detail on Help to Build shortly followed by its official response to the Bacon Review in the autumn.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “As we build back better we want to help more people build their own home, making it an option for thousands who’ve not considered it or ruled it out before.

"This will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.

“I warmly welcome Richard Bacon’s report which matches our ambitions for the custom and self-build sector. We will consider it fully and respond to the recommendations in due course.

“The launch of the Help to Build equity loan scheme will be a game-changer to the self and custom build market and will allow individuals to borrow with lower deposit mortgages which will go towards the design and build of their new home.”

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