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Cooperative and Mutual Housing Housing . Self Build. ‘Self Organised Housing’. Self build for 15 Homes Housing Corporation offered guarantee so finance could be obtained by a merchant bank. 20 hours a week each on site. £27,000 : 1983 Minerva Self Build Housing Group: Bath.

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Cooperative and Mutual Housing Housing

Self Build

‘Self Organised Housing’


Self build for 15 Homes

Housing Corporation offered guarantee so finance could be obtained by a merchant bank.

20 hours a week each on site.

£27,000 : 1983

Minerva Self Build Housing Group: Bath


Plot Cost: £30,000

Build Cost: £45,000

Build cost per m2: £410

Plot Cost: £30,000

Build Cost: £43,000

Build cost per m2: £430


Self build for rent model using public finance

Members worked for 24 hours per week over a period of two years.

Each tenant benefits from a reduced rent as well as the possibility of a capital payment if they should ever decide to vacate their home.

South London Family Housing Association (SLFHA)


Private self build on same site.

20 Plots

Each self builder signed up to a AVAG contract.

Use of materials from Cat A of BREEAM Guide.

No conditions on re-sale

Ashley Vale Action Group (AVAG)


Private self finish.

6 Plots

Each self finisher undertakes internal work to their home

Bristol (AVAG)


Private and cooperative collective self builds

Groups have own project manager to deliver building according to their design and brief.

Homes can be self finished

Vauban, Germany


Commonhold delivery of building.

Renovation of 1960 office building.

Flats are self finished

Includes work space and communal space for local area.

Bristol (AVAG)

Winner - South West Green Energy Award 2009


Currently, in the UK, virtually all new housing is provided by a small number of powerful volume Housebuilders - who charge a lot because they have to make a reasonable profit for their shareholders.

Social housebuilding has declined and – in the current climate – its doubtful that there will be a sudden increase.

Despite the downturn, individual self builders continue to churn out 15,000+ homes a year, even though they face many challenges, particularly in finding sites and getting finance.

The big opportunity is to encourage more Self-Organised schemes – perhaps linked to Local Housing or Community Land Trusts.

How would they work?

A group of people decide, for example, that they want to build a terrace of eco-homes. They form a Trust to acquire the site, design their development, get a contractor to build the basic structure, and they finish off the internal works, doing as much, or as little, as they feel able to do. The result is a tailor made eco-home, for perhaps 60% the normal cost.


So how can this sector be supported?

  • Central Government and local authority recognition of the benefits –
  • Encourage councils to support self build and self-finish projects.
  • Encourage councils to make publicly owned sites available for sale to self-
  • finish groups, and give people enough time to get their plans and finance
  • sorted.
  • Make it easier for groups of people to acquire sites and undertake feasibility.
  • Creation of a revolving fund to enable:
  • infrastructure to be put in place
  • sites to be purchased (where land cannot be donated via a Trust).
  • encourage the mortgage lenders to develop new financial products to serve
  • the sector, (Particularly multiple projects on one site)

Showcase best practice.

Set up a small number of (virtually) self-financing pilot schemes, and communicate the learning points that emerge from these to others, so we get a snowballing effect.