Homes England announce the launch of their ‘We Fund It. You Build It’ campaign. It’s aim: To raise awareness amongst the small to medium sized (SME) housebuilding community about the funding and expert support that’s available to them through the government’s Levelling Up and Home Building Fund.
Funding for SME house builders
Aligned with the FMB’s campaign for SME house building, Homes England believe that SME housebuilders are key to delivering growth in the house building sector. They want to support SME builders with growing their businesses, building more homes and diversifying home building in the UK, which is currently dominated by the bigger players.
SME house builders are responsible for delivering just 12% of new homes. A staggering decline from 39% in 1988. The Levelling Up Home Building Fund has been put in place to reverse this trend and deliver homes to meet an increasing demand.
How can it help?
The fund, administered by Homes England, can help SME house builders to get their projects off the ground by providing development loans from £250,000 to over £10 million.
Accessing this fund can provide a vital cash injection for SMEs - the FMB’s latest House Builders’ Survey shows that 42% of small house builders are held back by access to finance. Our survey also shows that just 4% of house builders currently access funding via Homes England, so the ‘We Fund It. You Build It’ campaign is a welcome step towards making more SMEs aware that this help is available.
The Levelling Up Home Building Fund is specifically aimed at businesses that are struggling to access finance from traditional lenders. It can be used to help with ever increasing development costs for new homes that are intended for sale or the rental market. It also offers financing for:
- Community-led housing projects
- Serviced custom-build and self-build plots
- Off-site manufacturing
Gary Middleton, Assistant Director – Development Finance at Homes England said, ‘Diversifying the housing sector, helping new housebuilders to establish themselves, and supporting mid-sized developers to grow is a key part of our remit. But we know how difficult it can be for SME developers to bring their projects to fruition, and that access to finance can be one of the biggest blockers they face. The government’s Levelling Up Home Building Fund aims to tackle that.
‘We have regional experts across the UK that understand the local market and are ready to support SME housebuilders with their project. It is so important that housebuilders know this support exists.'
How the fund helped an SME builder in West Bromwich
Jatinder Singh Gakhal is Managing Director of Windyridge Property Investments, based in the North West and the Midlands. As first-time developers, they struggled with getting access to funding before receiving help from the Levelling Up Home building Fund in early 2022.
They were able to secure a £1.4 million development loan from the fund, meaning they could deliver their first housing project, Sienna Way, in West Bromwich. They completed in July 2023, providing much-needed housing to key workers, first-time buyers and young families which meets a the lastest standards in energy efficiency.
Jatinder said ‘As a new SME housing developer, we found securing development funding particularly challenging given the macro-economic factors affecting the construction industry.
‘However, thanks to the team at Homes England, who provided exceptional support and guidance throughout the application process, we swiftly secured a development loan to fully fund our scheme. We look forward to delivering our first sustainable housing development to meet the needs of the local community in the Black Country and strongly recommend SMEs consider Homes England funding to help unlock their future development sites.’
How to get access to the fund:
To be eligible for the fund, your business needs to meet the following criteria:
- Be a UK-registered corporate entity or limited liability partnership
- Intend to build 5 or more homes on a site in England
- Have a controlling interest in the land
- Have planning permission agreed