Please note: This is a guest article from Homes England and does not constitute a formal endorsement on the part of the FMB.
As the government’s housing and regeneration agency in England, Homes England is tasked with creating a more resilient and competitive housing market by supporting smaller builders and new entrants. It is eager to work with SME developers and is able to help where the private market can’t.
One of the main ways it does this is through development finance. With the new Levelling up Home Building Fund, Homes England is able to provide development loans to small and medium housebuilders that are struggling to access finance elsewhere.
Loans typically start from £250,000, though the agency will also consider smaller loans for innovative housing solutions, such as serviced plots for custom and self-builders, off-side manufacturing, or community-led housing projects.
Homes England has offered this kind of loan financing for a number of years. By enabling new entrants to build their track record, it has helped hundreds of small builders to build more homes and grow their business.
FMB member Rhodes Homes is one such example.
Rhodes Homes: A case study in development finance
As a new entrant to the market, Rhodes Homes Limited (RHL) was struggling to access development finance from the market to convert a disused mill, dating back to the 1920s, in Morley, Leeds to 11 three-bed townhouses, as well as build three additional new homes.
RHL approached Homes England in 2018, and the agency seized the opportunity to regenerate a stalled brownfield site, whilst supporting a new entrant to the market with high growth aspirations. They were able to provide £1.85m of development finance to support RHL and bring the mill back to life.
Sales demand for the mill-based townhouses has been strong with all of them now sold, attracting first time buyers, families and professionals.
Following the success of this project, RHL are now seeking larger brownfield schemes to develop in the West Yorkshire area and intend to continue working with Homes England via the Levelling up Home Building Fund.
How to apply for development finance
You can apply for development funding online at Levelling Up Home Building Fund - development finance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 0300 1234 500, or emailing [email protected]
You can see full eligibility details on Homes England’s website.
Other ways Homes England can support your development aspirations
For developments of less than five homes, Invest and Fund may be a more suitable option. Homes England has partnered with Invest & Fund to increase the amount of finance available to SME developers to help them grow and deliver more homes at pace.
The £25m revolving fund allows Invest & Fund to support small builders with construction loans of between £400k and £2.5m, funding schemes of two homes and upwards, at up to 80% Loan-to-Cost. Apply here: Invest & Fund | UK Residential Bridging and Development Finance (investandfund.com).
Got a question?
Speak to our policy team on 020 7025 2934 or send us an email.