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Scotland Backs Self-Build Boom to help build New Homes

Scotland’s largest city is enthusiastically advocating a self-build boom as part of its new strategy to provide 25,000 new homes.

Glasgow City Council recently revealed plans to deliver the new properties by 2025. The city’s current population is 593,000, a number that is expected to rise to 670,000 by the year 2037. These new homes are part of a bigger plan to accommodate this anticipated population surge.

The scheme, titled ‘People Make Glasgow Home’, includes converting empty shops into residences, identifying 20 potential development sites for housing associations, and regenerating the north end of Glasgow by increasing building activity around the Canal Corridor.

The plan also includes making self-build and custom-build plots available so the public can build their own properties.

According to the self-build industry, thousands of Scots want to construct their own homes but have a hard time accessing suitable land.

Peter Hall of timber kit home manufacturer ScotFrame greeted the news with great enthusiasm, saying that for years self-builders have struggled with the first hurdle, which is acquiring land to build on.

Mr Hall said that the UK government is eager to get more people self-building. He pointed out that one of the strong selling points is that the customer can design a home that suits their needs and requirements.

“The value is usually much more than it costs because you are not paying for a builder,” he said.

Before the financial crisis hit, up to 1,500 residences were being self-built every year. Now, the number is around 1,200. They include properties in the Laurieston development, where the plan was originally unveiled.

The supply of private rental accommodations will be investigated, followed by the acceleration of a programme to build up to 6,500 new houses through the Transforming Communities: Glasgow vehicle.

Glasgow Credit Union will be supporting a pilot scheme to help new buyers and building sites are being sourced for social landlords.

The city council will work with the Glasgow Housing Association’s parent firm, the Wheatley Group, to honour its commitment to build 1,700 affordable homes in Glasgow by 2022.

It is hoped that the plan will result in £700m in new investment over the next five years, which will strengthen the economy by £1.37bn. According to council head Gordon Matheson, building these homes will bring huge social and economic benefits for Glasgow, given the large number of apprenticeships and jobs that will need to be filled to deliver so much new housing.

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Philip Hogg, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said that the council’s vision is being applauded, and it is hoped that other local authorities to follow its example to ensure that enough housing is available to meet the needs of a growing population.

Glasgow Housing Association chair Gordon Sloan said that they look forward to working with the Scottish Government and the Glasgow City Council to produce 1,700 more homes in the city.

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