Believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the 'Sweat Equity' development on Philip Avenue in Felixstowe will see ten affordable new homes built by Orwell Housing Association, four of which will only be partially completed, allowing homeowners to finish the building work themselves. These homeowners will be eligible to access funding for the property through an exclusive self-build mortgage from Ipswich Building Society.
The scheme enables homeowners to take out a smaller mortgage on their new home and build up equity in the property based on the amount of work they are prepared to put into finishing it themselves, ranging from 5% to 20% equity in the share of the property being purchased.
Ian Brighton, Ipswich Building Society said: "This is an exciting new initiative for local people who have the skills and expertise to add equity into their own property, reducing the need for larger deposits. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to own their own home and we are pleased to be working closely with Orwell Housing on this exciting new project."
His thoughts were echoed by Wendy Evans-Hendrick, Director of Development and Property Services at Orwell Housing, who added: "At Orwell we are committed to finding innovative ways to provide both affordable rented housing and affordable, low-cost home ownership options. Philip Avenue is the first self-build project the Association has developed. The scheme is ideal for those stuck in the private rental spiral as it gives people the opportunity to earn a share in their own home and at the same time help build their own property."
Construction of the ten affordable homes has now begun and it is hoped that the self-finishers will commence work in the late summer.