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McCloud launches crowd-funding for new wave of custom homes

Grand Designs TV presenter Kevin McCloud has begun a crowdfunding campaign to raise £1.5million for his development company Hab Housing as part of a drive to boost custom-building in the UK

Investors have been promised a dividend of no less than 5 per cent on their cash at the end of 2016 as well as a 5 per cent saving on any purchase of a Hab home - up to the level of investment. The minimum investment is £100.

The ground-breaking house developer completed its first project, the 42-home Glenn Howells Architects-designed Triangle development in Swindon, two years ago (AJ 07.07.2011) and has a raft of schemes on the go, including a near-complete 78-home scheme by DSDHA in Stroud and three recently consented projects by AHMM in Oxford.

McCloud’s outfit now wants to expand to help people create their own, personalised homes, either through custom build, self-build or custom finish, and also wants to tap into the government’s £30million loan finance pot which was set up to kick-start community-based custom build schemes. His company hopes to build 1,000 homes a year from 2018.

The presenter and writer said: ‘Self building and custom building can be perceived as risky, expensive and fraught with difficulty. We are keen to demonstrate that building, or customising your own home can be both pleasurable and affordable.

We want to take self-building from niche to mainstream

‘Our aim is to start to bridge the gap between the scale and ambition of the traditional self builder and the efficiency and affordability of volume house-building, in other words to take self-building from ‘niche to mainstream’.

‘We’ve always felt that a business that aims to build great places for people should offer opportunities for the public to be involved in the business. Crowdfunding does this. We want to have an investor crowd and a customer crowd, with hopefully a big overlap between the two.’

It is understood Hab - which stands for Happiness, Architecture, Beauty - will deliver the ‘place-making’ and secure outline planning for the wider development, covering the general massing and layout.

Designs for the individual plots would be within the parameters of design-codes, pre-agreed with planners.

The developer has until August 24 to raise a minimum of £1 million through the crowdfunding website Crowdcube, otherwise all the money pledged will be returned.

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